Christian Horner reveals if Red Bull had to make changes due to rule change

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has addressed speculation over the team's woeful 2023 Singapore GP.

Christian Horner, the Team Principal of Red Bull, has addressed speculation surrounding his team’s performance drop at the Singapore Grand Prix and clarified that recent technical directives (TDs) from the FIA were not the cause of their struggles.

The reigning World Champions faced a challenging weekend in Singapore, failing to advance into Q3 during qualifying and missing out on a podium finish in the race. 

This marked the first time in the current season that Red Bull did not secure a victory, as Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz claimed the top spot.

Leading up to the race weekend, there was significant discussion regarding the FIA’s TDs, which focused on clarifications related to flexible car parts, particularly wings and the floor. 

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The timing of Red Bull’s performance dip coinciding with the introduction of the FIA’s TDs raised questions about whether the technical interventions had adversely affected the team.

However, Horner emphasised that Red Bull had made “zero” changes to their car for the race weekend, dispelling the notion that the TDs were to blame. 

He stated, “It’s all engineering stuff. 

“There are no silver bullets in this business. 

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“I know all of you would love to blame the TD, but unfortunately, we can’t even blame that because it’s not changed a single component on our car. 

“Circuit characteristics are different here, and I think that we haven’t optimised the car in the right window to extract the most from the lap.”

As the Formula 1 circus heads to Japan for the upcoming race at Suzuka, where Max Verstappen clinched the championship title last year, expectations are high for Red Bull’s return to form. 

However, Horner remained cautious about making predictions regarding their performance. 

He commented, “Let’s see if it [Red Bull’s struggles] is circuit-specific. 

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“I mean, if Ferrari is first and second in Japan next weekend, then we’ll see if there’s a significant jump. 

“But we’ve seen form move around so much this year, the one consistent was ourselves. 

“This weekend, we were the ones that found ourselves slightly out of shape.”