Lewis Hamilton took his second win in a row in Qatar, closing in on title rival Max Verstappen. Both in Brazil and Qatar, it was clear Red Bull Racing were struggling to keep pace with Mercedes. Christian Horner saw why in Qatar.
Difference between Mercedes and Red Bull
In an interview with Autosport, the Red Bull team boss is asked where the gap between Mercedes and Red Bull in Qatar came from. “I think there is one corner that has distinguished us all weekend and that is corner six,” Horner said. “From Friday to Sunday we lost two tenths in that corner every lap and I think that’s one of the things we need to start understanding and improving on.”
The Milton Keynes-based team hopes to solve the problem before Saudi Arabia, the one-biggest Grand Prix of the season. After the Qatar Grand Prix, Verstappen has only an eight-point lead over Hamilton. A win by the Brit combined with the fastest lap and Verstappen in second place would mean a tie at the final race in Abu Dhabi.
Highlight of the championship
With the long straights on the Jeddah street circuit, Mercedes also looks set to come out strong here, even Horner acknowledges. “The next circuit should be in Mercedes’ favour. In Abu Dhabi, with the modifications that have been made there, who knows.”
Whatever happens in Saudi Arabia, the title fight is more exciting than ever. “We go into these final races with an eight-point lead in the drivers’ championship and we’ve cut the lead in the constructors’ championship to five points. We are still fully competing in both and that is fantastic because we are now at the peak of this world championship.”