Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believes it would be “impossible” to do better than it has this year after wrapping up the Constructors’ title in Japan.
After suffering a surprise slump in form and losing its record-winning run in Singapore, Red Bull responded emphatically at Suzuka to confirm its status as Constructors’ Champions for the sixth time.
Max Verstappen topped all three practice sessions, qualified on pole position by six-tenths and then proceeded to be untouchable throughout the race to win by 19s to collect his 13th victory of 2023.
Having won 10 of the 11 remaining races at the end of last year, Red Bull has extended its advantage over the rest to claim the earliest title win in Formula 1 history by a team.
Reflecting on Red Bull’s latest achievement, Horner said: “It’s unbelievable. Last year was a very strong year for us but to have kept that momentum rolling with the challenges we have had is testimony to all the men and women of the team that have worked tirelessly to have produced a car as competitive as we have had, and that Max has made such good use of.
“Formula One is one of the biggest team sports in the world and it’s a result of all the 22 different departments, all the support functions, all of the backroom staff that have worked crazy hours, made sacrifices to produce these types of cars and this kind of result.
“Everybody is invested in one thing and that’s the car. To produce the kind of car we have and achieve these kind of results is an incredible performance.”
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19 celebrates with the team with Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19 and Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal after winning the 2023 Constructors Championship. 24.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Race Day.
As the reigning champions and runaway leaders, Red Bull have been entitled to the least aerodynamic testing time of any team. Additionally, the side has also been hampered by the added restriction imposed for breaking the cost cap in 2021.
But despite bringing fewer upgrades to its car than its rivals, Red Bull’s competitive advantage has predominantly remained intact across the course of the year.
While Red Bull has continued to add to its trophy cabinet with each passing round, the battle behind the Austrian outfit has switched around from circuit to circuit.
“The field has been moving around behind us. One week it’s McLaren, next week it’s Ferrari, next week it’s Mercedes,” Horner explained.
“We’ve been 99% consistent, 90% consistent at the front of the field.
“And I think we’ve been fairly limited in the amount of development that we’ve done on the car, but I think the development that we’ve done has been effective enough to maintain a reasonable margin that we’ve seen again here today.”
Asked how much he attributes Red Bull’s success to his team and the others dropping the ball, Horner replied: “I mean the regulations are stable, so everything, we have the same gearbox on the car, we have the same chassis, largely as last year. An awful lot of it is carried over from last year.
“I think the team have done a great job in efficiently developing the car and reducing the weight. The whole technical team, operational team, have done an amazing job to maintain across the variance of circuits that we had, this kind of performance.”
With Red Bull firmly on course to break Mercedes’ record from 2016 for the most wins (19) in a single F1 season, Horner is convinced it will be increasingly difficult to replicate a campaign like this again.
“To repeat a season like this, it’s a golden moment for the team,” he added. “To do better than we are doing I think is impossible.
“We are riding a wave and we want to ride that wave as long as we can. But F1 is a fast-moving business, you see how quickly teams move up and move down, and Singapore demonstrated, if nothing else, that there can be zero complacency. We have to keep pushing the boundaries.”
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