B e Red Bull didn't have much to do in Abu Dhabi to celebrate. For the first time since the Italian GP, the energy drink team missed the podium again. Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were on course for a long time to be there for the shower with rose water. Sebastian Vettel only passed in the last laps.
'We showed Ferrari how good the super softs are,' sighed team boss Christian Horner afterwards. With the strategy of getting both pilots to the last stop early, the tactics were practically imposed on Vettel. “With Lewis at the front slowing down, it was important to have fresh, soft tires for the final laps. Unfortunately we didn't have any fresh sentences left, 'Horner explained the tactics.
The Briton had a lot of praise for the new world champion:' He had a great season and a worthy world champion. The maneuver against Max was very brave. Max's car is not that easy to overtake. That was a decisive moment in Nico's race. ”
Horner was counting on braking tactics
The team boss had already predicted in the days before that Hamilton would roll around the track at a slow pace : “He followed all the rules in his tactics. It was like a soccer game where one team keeps the ball in their own ranks so the others can't attack. I don't see that he did anything wrong. '
That Mercedes didn't expect the braking tactic beforehand is incomprehensible to Horner:' There were only 2 drivers who had a chance of winning the world title . It was obvious he was doing it that way. It was naive to think that this race would be different with what was at stake. They both drive for the drivers' title in the same car. '
Horner cannot understand that Hamilton is now being blamed for the buck:' It was clear that the race win alone would not be enough for Lewis. He went into the weekend with this tactic to achieve his goal. He didn't play a dirty game. It was a tactical race. It would be unfair to criticize him for it now. ”
Horner with a swipe at Wolff
The fact that Mercedes ordered its driver to change tactics several times during the race prompted Horner to one joking swipe: 'We know that Toto wants to control a lot of things in the paddock, including drivers from other teams.'As a reminder: Wolff had called Jos Verstappen before the race in Sao Paulo and mentioned his son Max's driving style in the title fight.
At Red Bull, this affair has apparently not yet been forgotten. Horner pointed out that he had previously announced the braking tactic: “I heard that Toto implied that Lewis listened more to my suggestion than to his orders. Maybe it is better to talk to a driver directly and not to his father. ”