Horner discusses Verstappen “doing a very good job” managing braking issues during F1 US GP

Spread the love

With another Red Bull and Max Verstappen victory on the board, Christian Horner examines a braking issue which made for a difficult Sunday for the champion as well as discussing the challenge presented by Mercedes.

Max Verstappen celebrates with the Red Bull team as he claims his 15th victory of the 2023 season in COTA
Photo: Oracle Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen added a 50th Grand Prix victory to his tally at yesterday’s United States Grand Prix despite a braking issue plaguing his RB-19 from very early on in the Grand Prix. Verstappen didn’t enjoy his usual pace advantage as a result, eventually finishing just over a second ahead of a charging Lewis Hamilton.

“It interferes with your tyre temperatures and everything else.”

Discussing the team’s Sunday afternoon, team boss Christian Horner delved into Verstappen’s braking issue, admitting that it presented early on in the Grand Prix. He steered clear of estimating how much of an impact the issue had on Verstappen’s pace however.

“As [Verstappen] said, the brakes just weren’t the same as yesterday,” Horner admitted following the race. “Once you start managing that issue it interferes with your tyre temperatures and everything else. So I thought he did a very good job to do that.

“We ran our optimum strategy. Before the race we were predicting that a two stop with the medium-medium-hard was going to be our fastest race and it turned out to be. I think the critical part was the middle stint where he was able to use the medium tyre against Norris on the hard and make the pass and build a gap.”

“It was from very early in the first stint…”

Horner was then pushed to further elaborate on Verstappen’s issues, saying the issue presented “very very early”.

“Difficult to predict what it cost him in pace but you could see he didn’t enjoy the same pace advantage as yesterday.

“I think it was throughout the race. It was from very early in the first stint that he just wasn’t getting the same feeling from the brake pedal that he had previously. Certainly you could see Checo [Perez]’ pace was strong again today and all the deficits, as you heard GP say to him, were in the braking zones.

“So for sure there was a bit left on the table today.”

“Their marital bliss continues.”

While Verstappen battled his brake issues, he became flustered when speaking to his engineer Gianpiero Lambiase over the radio, repeatedly demanding GP stop speaking to him while he was braking. Not for the first time this season things seemed to become quite heated between the two during the race with a message of ‘see you next Friday’ being exchanged at the end of the race.

These exchanges called into question whether a potential clash of personalities may be ongoing between the two. Horner made light of the situation however while noting returning to the UK had always been the plan for GP between this double header.

“Their marital bliss continues,” Horner joked. “Max is complaining about his brakes and GP is asking about his front wing off-set.

“GP was always scheduled to go back to the UK after this race, so that’s why he had a plane to catch which was why he said ‘see you on Friday’.”