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Horner predicts Red Bull Ferrari "backgammon" battle

Horner predicts Red Bull Ferrari "backgammon" battle

F1 News

Horner predicts Red Bull Ferrari "backgammon" battle

Horner predicts Red Bull Ferrari "backgammon" battle

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has predicted a game of strategic backgammon with Ferrari in Sunday's French Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc stormed to pole by three-tenths over F1 championship leader Max Verstappen, with Sergio Perez in third.

Paul Ricard has been gripped by the European heatwave all weekend with high degradation on long runs in practice prompting Pirelli to suggest two-stop strategies are likely.

A further dynamic sees Ferrari running a higher downforce aerodynamic configuration than Red Bull.

"It is going to really be like a game of backgammon tomorrow, what moves you make and when, when you make your hit," Horner told Sky Sports F1.

"It is going to be a fascinating strategic race and I think it is going to play out over the whole race, not just the first sector."

Leclerc would have taken pole without slipstream

With Carlos Sainz taking a grid penalty for a power unit change, Ferrari used the Spaniard to create a tow for Leclerc during Q3 in order to negate Red Bull's straight-line advantage.

But conceding the tactic made little difference to the finishing order, Horner said: "I think we might have been a tenth and a half closer but I think over that one lap, Ferrari had that advantage on us today.

"We have got two very different concepts of attacking the race track this weekend.

"Ferrari running a bit more downforce, we are a bit more trimmed out so it is all about tomorrow."

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