Red Bull boss Christian Horner admits Max Verstappen was ‘lucky’ after late Miami GP scare

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Christian Horner has insisted that Red Bull were fortunate that Ferrari did not pit under the safety car during the latter stages of Sunday’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix, which was eventually won by Max Verstappen. The Dutchman managed to overtake pole-sitter Charles Leclerc shortly after the race start and never looked back despite seeing his lead cut when the safety car was deployed after Lando Norris tangled with Pierre Gasly.

Leclerc tried to fight back during the last few laps but was unable to force his way ahead of Verstappen, who ultimately held on to secure his third Grand Prix victory of the new F1 season. Neither of the Ferrari drivers opted to pit for new tyres under the safety car, though, which Horner believes played a hugely important role in shaping the outcome.

“It was a real tactical race today and we threw everything we had at it,” he told reporters. “We were quite lucky that Ferrari didn’t pit under the safety car.

“Max was under so much pressure from Charles Leclerc but he kept focus and didn’t make any mistakes and was gradually able to break the DRS, which was very powerful today, and manage the victory from there.”

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Sergio Perez did pit for a new set of medium tyres during the safety car period but ultimately saw his race compromised by a power unit issue that he was forced to manage for the majority of the 57-lap contest. Horner went on to rue the Mexican driver’s bad luck in Miami before revealing that Red Bull will be looking to improve their pace and reliability by introducing a number of upgrades in the not-too-distant future.

“Checo was really unlucky today,” added Horner. “He had a sensor issue early on and lost about 30 horsepower, and he gave it a real go when we pitted him and gave him the tyre advantage and without that issue he may even have finished second.

“We’ve got some interesting races coming up, the car is running well, we have some development coming in the summer and we need to lose some weight, but we’re pleased with what we’ve come away with this weekend.”

It remains to be seen whether Red Bull will be able to keep up with the pace of Ferrari for the rest of the season, with plenty of teams expected to bring upgrades to this month’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The Austrian outfit were arguably quicker over the course of the weekend in Miami and will be desperate to maintain their winning form in order to kickstart their Constructors’ Championship title challenge over the coming weeks and months.


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