“I wouldn’t say we were caught by surprise”- Red Bull denies that they fell into Mercedes’ strategy, which made Lewis Hamilton win.
Red Bull, for the majority of the Grand Prix, had everything under control, and they were just moments away from the win when everything was slipped away from them.
Max Verstappen’s overtake from the off-track made him concede his lead to Lewis Hamilton, from where the Dutchman couldn’t recover. But Red Bull doesn’t believe that any Mercedes strategy over here dumbfounded them.
“No, I wouldn’t say we were caught by surprise,” Monaghan said. “If you are seeking an explanation of the race strategy, then yes, we could have stopped Max earlier for the second stop. But then you catch Lewis on older tyres,” said Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan.
“Equally, he could have stopped later and had a greater tyre advantage. So our stints were moved even, and we had a pace advantage at the end.”
“Got past him once and then couldn’t get close enough again. I don’t know if it slipped away, we more played our cards differently, and in the end, by running past the kerb by two metres, we’ve had to give the place back, and that’s it.”
“The car was capable of being quicker over the race. The disappointment within the garage is palpable, yet we’re disappointed to be only second place.”
Red Bull will step up from here.
Despite the defeat, it is apparent that Red Bull’s RB16B is fast. Sergio Perez’s incredible recovery from pit-lane start to P5 is concrete evidence of it. It was more on the erroneous decision than capability which made Red Bull lose.
Thus, Monaghan is optimistic about Red Bull’s future endeavours and claims that the heartbreak of Bahrain defeat will go away if they win in Imola, which is three weeks away.
“There are many people in the paddock who would give up an awful lot to have a trophy and 18 points from one driver,” Monaghan added. “We’ve had pole; we’re quick.
“They [Mercedes] are going to fight with their hands, as are we, throughout the season. So when one overcomes the disappointment, we have a quick car, we have a motivated pair of drivers and team, and we get another go at Imola.”
“If we win it, this will be forgotten, and we’ll review it as history and move on.”