Red Bull "best prepared" for new F1 season since 2013

Christian Horner says Red Bull is emerging from the coronavirus lockdowns and starting the 2020 Formula 1 campaign “the best we've been prepared” since 2013, the team’s most-recent title-winning season.

Red Bull "best prepared" for new F1 season since 2013

The first two races of 2020 will take place at Red Bull’s home track – the Red Bull Ring – where Max Verstappen has triumphed in the last two years, while the dominant Mercedes squad has struggled with reliability.

Verstappen set the second fastest time of 2020 pre-season testing at Barcelona in February, ending up 0.537s behind Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas’s testing-topping effort.

At the time, Ferrari said it would start the 2020 season behind Mercedes and Red Bull, which completed a cagey pre-season programme where it did not appear to show the full potential of its RB16 car, with Verstappen’s time set on the harder C4 rubber.

“It's going to be an exciting year - it's going to be intense,” Horner told Motorsport.com. “Races are going to come thick and fast.

“And for me it feels that we're going into the season better prepared or it's the best we've been prepared since probably 2013.

“Going into a season, certainly in the hybrid era it's represented our best off-season.

“Our second year in our relationship with Honda that feels more integrated, very much part of the team now. And we're excited - we're really excited to go racing.”

Read Also:

Red Bull was the only one of F1’s leading three teams to run its 2020 car ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix when it completed a 100km filming day outing with Alex Albon at Silverstone last week.

Mercedes and Ferrari conducted tests with their W09 and SF71H 2018 cars at Silverstone and Mugello respectively.

Horner outlined the benefits the filming day had for his team and Albon, who is starting his second F1 season, and revealed that the squad immediately completed a sub-two-second practice pitstop.

Red Bull opted not to use Verstappen for the filming day as it would have meant he was required to complete 14 days in quarantine per the UK government’s coronavirus protocols for new arrivals. 

“For the team, it was extremely useful just to practice the new procedures with the PPE and so on,” said Horner.

“It was just good to get them doing some of the basics again - pitstops and some of the fundamentals just to blow away the cobwebs.

“It was useful for Alex as well.  Obviously, he's only in his second year of grand prix racing [so] to get 100km in the car.

“We made the decision quite a while ago, not to subject Max to quarantine. The upside of 50km, which is equivalent of probably less than [a few] laps in Austria, didn't outweigh the benefits.

“So, yeah, it was a useful exercise. Good to see the cars running again and good to see the team straight back down to sub two-second pit stops.”

You can read the full interview with Christian Horner in this week's issue of Autosport magazine, which previews the delayed 2020 F1 season and is available in shops and online from July 2.

shares
comments
McLaren confident of avoiding repeat of Australia withdrawal

Previous article

McLaren confident of avoiding repeat of Australia withdrawal

Next article

My job in F1: TV commentator David Croft

My job in F1: TV commentator David Croft
Load comments
Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1? Prime

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1?

OPINION: Different perspectives had Lewis Hamilton’s solo second standing start in Formula 1’s 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix as fabulous or farcical. But did it make the championship appear too silly for the sake of a moment of high-charged sporting drama?

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making Prime

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2021
Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021