Christian Horner hails Max Verstappen’s ability to avoid blisters in Austrian GP

Christian Horner hails Max Verstappen’s ability to avoid blisters in Austrian GP

Christian Horner hails Max Verstappen’s ability to avoid blisters in Austrian GP

Ricciardo was used during qualifying for the Austrian GP to aid Max Verstappen by punching a hole in the air to give his team-mate a boost.

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The German, whose team did not invoke orders for Raikkonen to cede position as might have been expected, clawed back the overall lead by a single point from Mercedes rival Hamilton. "I had concerns and I spoke a little bit with my engineer about it, but I guess as a team it wasn't discussed", he said of the strategy. I think if you get one run, fair enough.

How did Verstappen do it?

That was Verstappen's fourth career victory, tying him with Eddie Irvine and Bruce McLaren for the most wins by any driver without ever taking pole position.

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Earlier this season, Ricciardo and Verstappen were ordered to apologise in person to Red Bull's 800 staff after they crashed out in Azerbaijan.

Asked whether he was surprised that Mercedes did not stop then race leader Hamilton, Horner said: "I was surprised, it was a pretty much a given".

"It was absolutely nailed in the first lap". In fact, the left rear tyre that was initially critical, was operating at a cooler temperature than the right.

"He was constantly asking for information and managing those tyres and that is why they didn't blister up".

The Red Bull driver put in a dominant display at the Red Bull ring, using the retirement of both Mercedes drivers to his advantage.

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Although a strong start to the race, when he muscled past Kimi Raikkonen, meant Verstappen ran behind the then-leading Mercedes cars in third at the end of the opening lap, his race turned on Red Bull's decision to pit both their cars together on lap 15 when the Virtual Safety Car was initiated after Valtteri Bottas had retired. But for Lewis and myself it fell apart very quickly.

"Until we get the cars back and stripped, it's hard to say".

"It was a ballsy call but it was the right thing to do and it paid dividends".

The Australian, out of contract at the end of the season but now expected to sign a new deal, had a testy exchange over the radio after having to run ahead of team mate Max Verstappen in the final shoot-out. Now, the same tactic has been highlighted by his team as the reason behind of his victory.

"It's a dream result", added a jubilant Horner. It is part of Formula 1, really.

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