Horner says Red Bull never set wins goal for 2019

Red Bull boss Christian Horner insists his team never laid out a target for the number of wins it wanted to achieve in 2019, despite motorsport advisor Helmut Marko's high ambitions.

Horner says Red Bull never set wins goal for 2019

On the back of an encouraging pre-season testing programme, Marko made it clear that he wanted the Milton Keynes-based outfit to win more races than it achieved last year.

That meant the team scoring five victories this campaign, with it having taken four in 2018 when it was partnered with Renault.

But with the team needing a step up if it is to be able to take on Mercedes and Ferrari regularly, Horner insists that Marko's vision was not one that the team set itself.

Instead, Horner insists that after years of frustrations with Renault, the outfit simply wanted to mark its first year with Honda in 2019 having made progress.

"Helmut obviously likes to take an optimistic outlook and we are only three races in," said Horner about what the team now hoped to achieve this year. "From a team perspective we have never set any targets in terms of race victories. Our goal is about closing that gap."

Horner is clear that the success of the campaign can only be judged at the very end, because it is pointless trying to lay out specific milestone achievements to judge the job it is doing.

"I think doing that is a waste of time," he said. "My view has always been you look at what is the quickest car and you look at what is the quickest way we can get there, and that varies from race to race.

"It was Ferrari in Bahrain and it was Mercedes in China, and obviously everyone is working as hard as they can to close that gap. To say it is by this race or this race, history dictates it is a fallacy."

One encouragement that Horner is taking from the season though is the way that Max Verstappen has managed to take a decent haul of points in the first three races – including a podium in Melbourne.

Horner thinks keeping up consistency at this stage of the campaign is essential if the team is to capitalise on what it hopes is better form later in the year.

Verstappen is currently third in the drivers' championship, ahead of both Ferraris, and 29 points adrift of leader Lewis Hamilton.

"I think he has been very mature about it," said Horner about Verstappen. "He has driven three strong grands prix so far this year, and was obviously unlucky not to be on the podium in Bahrain.

"We see he had a go at Sebastian [Vettel] in China after the pit stop, and drive a very mature race to bring it home fourth. It is about points accumulation at this stage.

"It is still not that big a gap to the guys ahead, and he is still ahead of both Ferrari drivers in the championship at the moment. There is still a long, long way to go, so it's important you don't give away too much ground at this stage of the year."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

shares
comments
Promoted: Why you should go to the Italian GP

Previous article

Promoted: Why you should go to the Italian GP

Next article

How F1 teams extract the maximum from their tyres

How F1 teams extract the maximum from their tyres
Load comments
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
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021