Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner says he, the team and drivers were all disappointed particularly for the fans who had travelled to the Spa Feancorchamps circuit in Belgium on Sunday as there was no race.
Max Verstappen who started the race from pole position was classified the winner after just two laps under the safety car thanks to the extremely poor weather conditions at the track today.
The Dutch driver has now closed to within three points of championship leader Lewis Hamilton and the F1 circus heads to his home race next for the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort after being awarded half points and speaking following the ‘action’ he said:
It is always good to win and the points are important but today is not how anyone wants to do it, especially on our 50th start with Honda. In hindsight it was very important to get pole yesterday and although it’s a big shame not to do some proper racing laps, as I really love coming to this track, it was just impossible in these conditions. I thought maybe at 15:30 the conditions were a bit better than just now when we tried to re-start but the visibility was still very low and I understand why we couldn’t race today. For me in the lead the visibility was a lot better, even with the Safety Car ahead, but the guys behind me couldn’t see a single thing and if someone went off at Eau Rouge and bounced back onto the track they could have been T-boned at high speed which we do not want. It was also extremely low grip and because it kept raining all afternoon it just didn’t improve. I think today the big credit goes to the fans around the track who stayed here the whole day in the rain, wind and cold. It must have been horrible to sit in those conditions so a big thanks goes to them and they should be the real winners from today. Now we have to keep on pushing and trying to re-gain the championship lead. I’m confident we have a good car and there is a long way to go so we just need to make sure we get the best performance out of it for the rest of the season.”
Christian Horner, CEO and Team Principal of Red Bull Racing commented saying:
“It’s frustrating for the teams, drivers and especially the fans that we could not race today, but unfortunately the conditions meant that no matter how long we waited it was not safe to do so. Everybody did their best to try and put a race on and credit must go to the FIA and Liberty who did everything within their power and waited until it became impossible. Ultimately, Max’s great work in very difficult qualifying conditions yesterday earned him the win and the maximum half points on offer which importantly enabled us to close the gap in both championships. Following Checo’s unfortunate trip into the barrier on the initial out lap it was incredible to see our mechanics in action under pressure once again, fixing his car in the time they did, giving him every opportunity to race should we have been able to get out from behind the Safety Car. It was a massive job as both sides of the suspension and the steering rack were damaged but it was very rewarding to see the teamwork with both sides of the garage working together to get it fixed. We are all feeling a little cold and wet but huge credit has to go to the fans who continued to pack the grandstands today. We truly appreciate the loyalty and I’m just sorry that we couldn’t deliver the track action they came for, but hopefully everyone will tune in for next weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix so we can provide a great weekend of racing.
Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez crashed heavily on the way to the grid and had been due to start the race from seventh place on the grid however the team were able to get his car repaired and he took the start of the race from 20th place and that is where he was classified.
Speaking following the event he said:
It was a strange afternoon and I have to say thank you to the fans, they were incredible for staying with us in the rain and cold. It’s a shame we couldn’t put on a good race for them today but we as a sport tried our best to race but it just wasn’t possible. The lap to grid was my mistake, the conditions and visibility were extremely poor and I just went on the kerb and lost it. I always knew there was a small chance we could get the car back out and the Team was pushing hard, really showing the spirit of Red Bull Racing which was nice to see. My Team did what they do best and they repaired the car so quickly it was incredible. I really wanted to repay them for their hard work during the race but that didn’t happen, luckily we are racing again in a few days and we all look forward to Zandvoort now!”