'Undeniable' That Ferrari Was Strong In Melbourne Admits Horner

Thursday, 28 March 2024 at 21:00
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Christian Horner identified an area in which Red Bull needs to improve before entering future races after losing to Ferrari in Australia.
Coming out of the third race of the season, Red Bull has only a four-point lead in the Constructors' and the Drivers' Championships.
The partial reason is that it has been an unlucky weekend for the team, with Max Verstappen's DNF and a decrease in performance in Sergio Perez's car after a tear-off got stuck in his floor duct.
On the contrary, the team hasn't really been on top of this situation from the beginning of the weekend. Ferrari seemed faster from practice sessions both in qualifying simulations and in long runs.
When Christian Horner was asked whether tire graining was his concern after the 2024 Australian Grand Prix, he responded:

"It is an area where Ferrari is particularly strong. So it is probably no coincidence that they were strong in Vegas and strong here, so it an area we'll need to improve on at front-limited circuits."

On the one hand, the gap in the Championship between Ferrari and Red Bull is very small at the moment. On the other hand, the main reason for that is that Verstappen scored zero points.
Helmut Marko suggested that the 26-year-old felt quite confident even despite the issue with brakes that he faced. The 80-year-old expects the triple World Champion to dominate again during the next race in Japan. Horner continued:

"Ferrari have a strong team, they've got two strong drivers, a decent car and we had a tough [race], and they capitalised on it. It has closed everything up again, but there's only 21 races to go."

Following the weekend, many discussed whether Verstappen would have won had he finished the race. Former F1 driver Martin Brundle suggested he felt it was "Ferrari's day" either way, and Perez also said Sainz would "absolutely" win. Horner added:

"We'd started to work out the issues and certainly on the laps to the grid, Max was reporting that he was really happy with the balance, but we never got to see the answers if we had solved those issues."

"But I think was it was undeniable that Ferrari was very strong this weekend - so congratulations to Carlos on losing an appendix and a dominant win."