Red Bull left to rue two missed chances to win season opener
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was left understandably deflated after seeing two opportunities go begging to win the Formula 1 season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
Horner feels Verstappen could have taken the chequered flag at the Red Bull Ring given the opposite strategy employed by his team in starting on the medium tyre compared to the soft runners around the Dutchman.
Instead, Verstappen was forced to retire early on with an apparent electrical issue that is currently being investigated.
"A win could have been on the cards for Max," said Horner, in his post-race video conference session, including GPFans.
"He was holding pace with Valtteri [Bottas], and you could see towards the end of the stint Valtteri started to get into some tyre problems.
"We would have stopped under the pace car, taken the hard tyre that everybody did, and then under the second safety car, would Mercedes have stayed out? We would have done the opposite to whatever they would have done. You just don't know."
It was under that second safety car that Alex Albon switched to the soft compound, giving him a chance to attack leading Mercedes duo Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, only to become involved in a collision with the latter that dropped him to the back of the field before retiring a few laps later with a power unit problem.
Reviewing the clash with Hamilton, Horner said: "Where it was in the corner, Alex had won the corner, he was on the exit of the corner. Why Lewis needed to stick a wheel in there, I've no idea.
"So frustrating for Alex that is the second time in three races that this has happened to him. It was unfortunate because he would have had a chance to win the race.
"Strategically we were sharp, very strong, and it's a shame we have no points to show for it."
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