Horner: Turn 6 deficit behind Red Bull's Qatar F1 gap to Mercedes

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes a weakness in one corner was behind the deficit between the team and Mercedes at last week's Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix.

Horner: Turn 6 deficit behind Red Bull's Qatar F1 gap to Mercedes

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton dominated the Qatar GP weekend to take a second consecutive win, which brought the championship gap with Red Bull's Max Verstappen down to eight points with two races left to run of a hotly contested 2021 world championship.

Verstappen was in for a weekend of "damage limitation" after coming up short in qualifying and being handed a five-place grid penalty, which he executed perfectly by moving back up to second and grabbing the extra point for the fastest lap.

When asked what the difference was between the two rival outfits, Horner believes Red Bull's weakness in Losail's Turn 6 was the main point of deficit to Mercedes, which the Milton Keynes outfit is keen to investigate ahead of next weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

"I think there's one corner that's differentiated us all weekend and it's been Turn 6 ," Horner said about Losail's slowest corner, a tight left-hander.

"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."

With its long straights and flat-out sections, the Jeddah street circuit is promising to be a strong track for Mercedes, particularly given Hamilton is set to re-use his fresher power unit introduced to great effect in Sao Paulo.

Mercedes' Andrew Shovlin agreed his team primarily made the difference in cornering, after much has been said about its straight-line speed in Brazil.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, and Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, and Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

"In some recent tracks we've been matching Red Bull in the corners and extracting a benefit in the straight-line but in Qatar it ended up being the opposite," the Mercedes director of trackside engineering said in the team's post-race debrief.

"We were matching them in the straight line and finding all our time in the corners.

"Where does that time come from? Well, really there are two areas. One is the downforce that you can get on the car and clearly, our package was working quite well there, helping us generate a lot of apex speed.

"But then also you've got the balance of the car and that's the thing that we tune with the mechanical settings, the springs and bars, also the front wing.

"Our drivers had a balance they were very happy with, they had stability on the way in, they could attack the corner, carry speed and ultimately you saw the demonstration of that with that fantastic lap from Lewis for pole position."

Read Also:

Horner acknowledged the Saudi circuit "should favour Mercedes" but believes Abu Dhabi's reworked Yas Marina Circuit could offer a fascinating title showdown if Hamilton were to also win in Jeddah.

"The next track arguably should favour Mercedes, Abu Dhabi with the modifications made there, who knows?," he added.

"But it's been incredibly tight. So going into these last races, eight points in the lead in the drivers' championship, we've reduced the championship lead in the constructors to five points.

"So, both are fully in play and that's fantastic because we’re now at the climax of this world championship."

shares
comments

Related video

Aston Martin headhunts Mercedes F1 aero chief
Previous article

Aston Martin headhunts Mercedes F1 aero chief

Next article

Ferrari junior Shwartzman joins Haas F1 for Abu Dhabi rookie test

Ferrari junior Shwartzman joins Haas F1 for Abu Dhabi rookie test
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022