Nonetheless, Horner is happy with both performances.
"Look, I think you just need to say hats off to Max on a day like today, it was just an out-of-this-world performance," he told Viaplay. "And Checo, P5, he'll race OK from there.
"We've got good race pace, you can overtake here, I think he'll be OK. It's going to be a race of degradation, really, and strategy, and we've got to make sure that we pick the right strategy."
On the cusp of glory
For quite a while now, it has been a case of when - not if - Red Bull win the constructors' title.
They have triumphed in 14 of the 15 races this season, with the Singapore GP last time out being their only blemish on that record. That was the first opportunity they had to win the title and they blew it, but it has always looked likely that they would wrap up the title either in Japan or Qatar.
All they need to do is make sure they do not get outscored by Mercedes and ensure that Ferrari do not outscore them by 24 points or more.
It's looking unlikely that Mercedes will be able to better them, being down in seventh and eighth after qualifying, and Ferrari may also fall short.
"Well, we'll see, we still got a lot of racing to do, it's a big race, this one, for us, but we're starting in the best possible place," Horner added.
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