Christian Horner makes classy Carlos Sainz comment as Red Bull boss outlines issue after Australian GP

Christian Horner makes classy Carlos Sainz comment as Red Bull boss outlines issue after Australian GP

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Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 24/03/2024

- 06:55

The long-serving team principal was keen to mention the Ferrari star after the race

Christian Horner made a point of congratulating Carlos Sainz after the Spaniard sped to victory at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Ferrari took advantage of Max Verstappen's early retirement to record a 1-2 finish in Melbourne and close the gap on the Red Bull.

Sainz had his appendix removed earlier this month which saw him miss the last race at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

His participation this weekend was in doubt but he upset the odds to record his first win since Singapore last September.

Christian Horner and Carlos Sainz

Christian Horner congratulated Carlos Sainz after he won the Australian Grand Prix

Sky Sports/Getty

Horner was keen to commend the Ferrari star, who has ended Red Bull's early dominance in 2023.

The team principal said to Sky Sports: "I have to congratulate Carlos Sainz today after going through surgery. What a great performance by him and his Ferrari team today."

Red Bull's Sergio Perez finished fifth after Verstappen was forced to retire early on.

Verstappen had recorded a third successive pole position and was favourite to win again at the Albert Park Circuit.

But he made his team aware of an issue early on over the radio and smoke soon started to pour from the rear of his car.

Verstappen's brakes were on fire as he entered the pit lane and there was no way he was going to continue.

Horner revealed the issue was caused by the brakes and a review of the problem will now commence.

He said: "Well yeah it's actually two years since our last DNF for a mechanical failure which was actually here back in 2022.

"It's a brake issue and it looked like the brake was bound on from pretty much the start of the race which is why Max described it as like having a handbrake and caused him to have a couple of moments.

"And then of course the heat was building and building and building and the result was a fire.

"Obviously we've got all the bits back now and going through the damage. We will go through it and understand exactly what's caused it."

Horner insists Red Bull must learn from the retirement after Verstappen showed clear frustration when leaving the car.


Christian Horner

Christian Horner opened up on the issues Red Bull faced at the Australian Grand Prix

Sky Sports

He added: "Obviously a driver is always going to be frustrated when they get out of the car from a retirement. He's been very gracious with the team.

"That DNF hurts everyone in the same way. It's a matter of learning from it. We've had two years of no mechanical DNF's, which is remarkable.

"So it's a matter of understanding what caused it, learning from it and moving on.

"Remarkable after three races he's still leading the World Championship even with that DNF. As I say, a lot of lessons to take out of today."

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen retired early from the Australian Grand Prix


On his retirement, Verstappen said: "What we can see so far from the data is that as soon as the lights went off the right-rear brake just stuck on.

"It just caused the damage and it kept on increasing so it was also basically driving with the handbrake on.

"That's why the car felt really weird to drive in some corners, just very snappy, while the laps to the grid the car was really spot on and I was happy with what we were doing. But if a brake is stuck on it doesn't help."

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