Following his team’s crushing victory at Spa, Red Bull boss, Christian Horner offers a cheeky word of thanks to arch-rival Toto Wolff.
The Belgian Grand Prix finally saw the introduction of the technical directive aimed at eliminating, or at least severely reducing, the bouncing witnessed for much of the season.
First announced after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, when fans were shocked to see Lewis Hamilton seemingly in great pain as he climbed from his car, it was widely thought that the technical directive would compromise the likes of Red Bull, for other than the bouncing (or vertical oscillations) attention was also to be paid to the planks and skids underneath the cars in terms of wear.
From the outset, Red Bull, Ferrari and others questioned the move, while Mercedes – among the worst hit by the porpoising phenomenon – were all in favour, no doubt hoping that whilst it would aid their cause it might also handicap its rivals.
However, Max Verstappen’s dominant form throughout the Spa weekend suggests that far from being reined in, Red Bull is actually in danger of pulling further ahead, and Christian Horner was keen to show his appreciation.
“On the face of it I’d probably have to thank Toto for the TD!” he laughed at race end.
“In all seriousness, I think this circuit has played to our strengths,” he added. “We have a very efficient car, we’ve found a very good set-up and Max has just been in phenomenal form the very first lap in first practice.
“Obviously, strategically we chose to take the penalty here and 14th became 13th technically as the starting point with everybody else. Of course, Max still had to navigate his way through the pack and he did that very efficiently over the first couple of laps, so he hit the front far quicker than we could have ever expected and the soft tyre seemed to work for him as well in that stint.
“Thereafter the pace we had with Max and Checo was enough that he got past Carlos to bring home one of the most dominant performances that we’ve had as a team since either 2010 or 2013.”
Asked about the effect of the technical directive, Horner was adamant that the team hadn’t had to change its approach to set-up.
“A lot was made and a lot of expectation was put on that TD,” he said, “so perhaps it’s hurt others more than it’s hurt ourselves. We haven’t really changed the way we operate the car.
“Obviously, grounding here has always been an issue because of Eau Rouge,” he added, “but that’s not unique to us, that’s the same for every team.”
Check out our Sunday gallery from Spa here.