Red Bull team principal Christian Horner didn’t see any sign Max Verstappen toned down his aggressive style to score his first win of the season in Austria.Kimi Raikkonen on the first lap of the race shows he hasn’t changed his approach to Formula 1.
“The margins in Formula 1 are so fine,” said Horner. “You saw today there was a touch at turn [three] with Kimi, a touch at turn seven. A few races ago that could have been a puncture and it’s a very different story.
“Max has had a tough first third of the year and all credit to him, he’s kept his head. In the last three races he’s been first, second and third with three very impressive drives.”
Verstappen described his contact with Raikkonen as “hard racing but good racing.”
“I think Kimi is experienced enough to handle the situation well,” he added. “We had a little touch but I think it’s also good for the sport.”
Verstappen’s incidents earlier in the year have left him at a disadvantage in the championship, Horner admitted. “We tend to be looking forward not backwards because when you look at the tables, you look at the ‘what ifs’, it could be an awful lot closer than it is. But there’s still 12 races to go.”
Horner also revealed Red Bull ran Verstappen’s engine in a more conservative mode following Daniel Ricciardo’s retirement.
“We were quite concerned that there might be a similar problem with Max so we turned his engine down to try and reduce temperatures,” he said. “And then we turned it up over the last five laps just to make sure the Ferraris weren’t going to get within the DRS.”
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2018 F1 season
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