Christian Horner has revealed Red Bull’s plans of throwing the Dutch GP away to stay ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
Red Bull Driver Max Verstappen took his seventh victory of the season in his home race at Zandvoort. Although it seemed like a predictable victory, there was more to it than what met the eye.
Lap 30 was the definitive moment of the race, when Verstappen overtook Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas despite pitting. Bottas was told to hold Verstappen up for as long as he could, allowing Hamilton to catch up and overtake him. However, Verstappen took just over a lap to overtake Bottas.
The Red Bull Team Principal reflected on the race, and said Red Bull was prepared to execute drastic measures to control the points. Horner revealed Red Bull’s plans of throwing the Dutch GP away to stay ahead of Hamilton.
“Our focus was on Lewis,” Horner said, as quoted by Motorsport-Total.com.
“He’s the biggest rival, so we chose him, even if we risked giving up the race. It was important to secure the points against Lewis. It was an interesting tactical race.
“We expected that they split the strategies. They had two cars in the game, so they were aggressive with Lewis and drove with Valtteri for a long time.
“Since the two-stop strategy was faster, it was crucial that Max pass Valtteri immediately. He did, and that allowed us to manage the second half of the race better.”
Red Bull gambit
Bottas’ proposed one-stop strategy came back to bite him and the team, as Verstappen closed him down and overtook him despite being a pit up. His newer tyres never stopped reducing the gap to the Finn, and from then on, he was firmly in control.
The Dutch round went to Verstappen, just like the one in Belgium. Hamilton and Mercedes will be looking to win the Italian round.