There were 16 corners in total at the Losail Circuit in Qatar however, Red Bull’s Christian Horner holds one corner responsible for the loss.
The performance of Red Bull was second best to that of the Mercedes in the maiden Qatar Grand Prix last weekend.
Lewis Hamilton secured pole position after putting in a phenomenal lap 4/10ths of a second quicker than the next driver, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The Dutchman’s five-place grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags in Q3 meant that he could not battle Lewis right off the start, and the Briton ended up taking a breezy win at the inaugural race in Qatar.
As the race went on, Verstappen managed to fight his way up to P2 but could not catch up to Hamilton, who had stormed into the distance. Some light damage to the underside of his front left wing meant that he lacked the pace to catch the seven-time world champion.
However, Red Bull boss Christian Horner attributes another part of the race as the factor which left them behind Mercedes throughout the weekend in Qatar. That factor was Turn 6.
“I think there’s one corner that’s differentiated us all weekend and it’s been Turn 6,” said Horner to Autosport.
“We lost two tenths a lap every lap from Friday to Sunday at that corner and I think that’s one the things we need to go and understand and where we need to improve.”
Andrew Shovlin, the trackside engineering director for Mercedes, seems to agree with Horner’s hypothesis. “In some recent tracks we’ve been matching Red Bull in the corners and extracting a benefit in the straight line,” said Shovlin.
“But in Qatar, it ended up being the opposite. We were matching them in the straight line and finding all our time in the corners.”
Red Bull’s fightback is not over yet
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen could steal away the extra one point from Lewis Hamilton as the Dutchman managed to bag the fastest lap. Verstappen pit for the soft tyres during the Virtual Safety Car, deployed as Latifi’s car was being cleared off the track.
This resulted in Red Bull limiting Hamilton, only reducing the gap to Verstappen by six points in Qatar. Next week, the two title contenders will go into Saudi Arabia, separated by just eight points in Verstappen’s favour.
Horner insists that Max’s chances at the title are not over yet despite Mercedes making massive gains in the last two races.
“We’ve been around the world in the last three weekends, and we’ve pretty much finished where we started in terms of the points difference,” said the team boss.
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“It’s that close, it’s incredibly close.”
“Mercedes has a very quick car at the moment. Before the last two weekends the pendulum was with us, in Austin there was nothing to choose between the two.”
“I’m glad to be taking an eight-point advantage into the next race, so we’ve just got to do the best we can. We need to maximise our chances. I’ve said from the very beginning of this championship it will go all the way to Abu Dhabi, and I haven’t changed my opinion.”