In a twist of fate at the Singapore Grand Prix, Red Bull‘s untouched winning streak has drawn to a close. Yet, the team’s principal, Christian Horner, confessed he never truly assumed an undefeated season was within the realm of possibility.
With its origins dating back to the previous year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Red Bull‘s cascade of victories came to a halt after 15 straight races in the Italian Grand Prix thus breaking the previous record of 11 held by McLaren since 1988.
Horner attributed the abrupt decline in Red Bull‘s performance to issues with the setup and the unique aspects of Singapore’s circuit, however, he chose not to disclose details about the slip-ups made by the team.
Verstappen, known for his own record-breaking run of 10 straight wins as a driver, ended the race in fifth place starting from the 11th position. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz, representing Ferrari, secured a long overdue non-Red Bull victory for the season.
When questioned about how he felt concerning the missed opportunity for a flawless season, Horner responded: “We never expected it. I mean, there were still eight races to go. Jesus Christ, you guys have been asking me since pretty much [the second race in] Jeddah. To have got through 15 races is beyond our wildest imaginations.”
Speaking further, he mentioned: “For Max to have now 10 in a row is insanity. The last time a driver did that was Sebastian [Vettel] in one of our cars — incredibly proud to have the first and second-winningest drivers in Formula One.”
Horner seized the moment to critique Toto Wolff, rival team principal, who had previously stated in Monza that Verstappen’s impressive streak of ten consecutive wins was “irrelevant”. He asserted: “While statistics apparently don’t matter, they are ones that as a team we’re incredibly proud of. We’ve got this far.”
Emphasizing how the context matters, Horner said: “To have broken the record since 1988 shows just how hard it is to have achieved the kind of supremacy that we’ve achieved this year, and that’s testimony to everybody doing and playing their part.”
When questioned about why Red Bull‘s performance took a hit in Singapore, Horner offered: “It’s all engineering stuff. There are no silver bullets in this business. I think circuit characteristics are different here and we haven’t optimised the car in the right window to extract the most.”