Red Bull boss hails dominance after Max Verstappen’s ‘immaculate’ Styrian GP victory

F1: Red Bull's Verstappen gets in shape for new season

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has praised his team after their “immaculate” performance during the Styrian Grand Prix that saw Max Verstappen extend his lead at the top of the standings over Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen took pole position over Hamilton on Saturday in the title fight, and led the field to a light-to-flag victory at the Red Bull Ring, with the team extending their lead in the team’s standings to 42 points.

Verstappen’s rapid pace was clear throughout the race as he crossed the line with a +35.743s lead over Hamilton, despite the Briton trying his hardest to find a way to close the gap at the Red Bull Ring.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Horner was left elated with their performance.

“That is the most dominant win we’ve had so far this year against Mercedes, so that’s very encouraging,” says Horner.

“They [Mercedes] had a free stop behind us, and I was fully expecting them to pull the trigger, and with a bit of weather around you just didn’t know what was going to happen.

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“Particularly with the state of Lewis’ front tyre, you could see a big blister forming around that tyre, but we were very much focused on our race, and had the time thankfully with the gap, that we would’ve been able to cover any move that they made.

“Max controlled the race incredibly well today, it was a masterclass.

“The only hiccup we had in that race was Checo’s [Sergio Perez’s] pit stop but other than that it was an immaculate performance, particularly by Max who managed the race so well.”

Mercedes however, would’ve taken some comfort after Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was back on the podium for the first time in three races, as Red Bull could only extend their 37 point lead to 40 in Austria.

Red Bull have been piling on the pressure all season, and arguably it’s the first time Mercedes have really felt the heat from a rival team since 2018, when Sebastian Vettel took the fight to Hamilton with Ferrari.

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But despite the ease of the win, Verstappen said they still have work to do this season.

“I mean, you never know of course how it’s gonna end up,” said Verstappen, when asked if it felt like an easy victory.

“But straightaway I felt good balance in the car, and it was good to manage the tyres basically from the start.

“Felt like to the end I had a little bit of tyres left, of course, they pitted one lap earlier than us, so we reacted to that and then we just kept on going, trying to hit our lap times, it worked really well for us.”

Formula One remains in Austria for round nine of the championship off the back of Verstappen’s win, with Red Bull hoping to repeat their glory in a week’s time.

“That’s very positive [that we race in Austria again] but of course we have to show it again next week so we’ll definitely have a look at what we can do better.

“I’m looking forward to next week.”

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