Horner: Australia not the 'benchmark' for championship trends
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reckons that the first race of the 2019 F1 season in Australia does not provide an accurate “benchmark” to determine how teams will perform going forward, and thinks the results of the Bahrain GP will generate more insight into what level teams are at.
In Melbourne last weekend, Red Bull got off to a good start as Max Verstappen finished in third place to claim a podium spot, taking 15 points for the team in the process.
That result, coupled with positive feedback on their new Honda engine, has put Red Bull in the conversation for the title.
But Horner isn’t so sure, yet, as the Australian GP is unique.
“It’s still too early to talk about the Championship,” he told Motorsport-Total.
“The podium was a great moment for Honda [but] the race at Albert Park is also not the benchmark for the pecking order in Formula 1, because the track has a special characteristic.
“Mercedes surprised with its pace and Ferrari rather disappointed. Whether this is really a trend, can only be evaluated after the race in Bahrain.”
Verstappen finished under two seconds behind Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, and way ahead of Sebastian Vettel fo Ferrari in fourth, but Horner insists Red Bull’s goal remains to catch these two teams in terms of performance.
“We are proud of the performance and are happy with the Honda product,” the Brit continued.
“I hope this is the start of a strong season.
“The goal of Red Bull is still to close the gap on Mercedes and Ferrari. But we have had a good start and need to build on this positive energy now.”
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