How Red Bull went from ‘nowhere’ to win: Imola turnaround explained

Christian Horner has shed light on how Red Bull turned things around following a difficult Friday at Imola.

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia
Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium…

Christian Horner says a “big dive” on Friday evening ultimately paved the way for Red Bull’s impressive turnaround at the F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Red Bull experienced their most difficult Friday of the season at Imola, with both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez struggling with the balance of their RB20 cars and ending the day off the pace in both practice sessions.

However, on Saturday, Verstappen was able to edge both McLaren drivers to pole position, before holding off a charging Lando Norris to record his fifth victory in seven races this season.

Speaking to media including after Sunday’s race, Horner credited former Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi for his help in improving the team’s fortunes through his work on the simulator.

Asked what was the key to Red Bull’s turnaround, Horner replied: “Sebastien Buemi. We did a lot of work on set-up on Friday into Saturday to move the balance and get the balance into a much better window.

“As I say, for 60 percent of the race we were anywhere between six and eight seconds clear of the rest. It was just the second half of the stint on the hard tyre, we started to give away performance.”

Horner went on to explain: “It was a big dive and that’s why you must never underestimate the broader team in the factory, the simulator drivers.

“Credit where credit is due, the essence of team is being able to respond when things aren’t going well and we managed to turn it around.

“If you expected this result on Friday, all of the analysis would have said no way but we managed to turn it around and win the race.”

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 makes a pit stop. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 makes a pit stop. Formula 1…

After claiming a record-tying eighth consecutive pole on Saturday, Verstappen described Red Bull’s turnaround as “one of the best” he has ever experienced in F1.

"Friday we were nowhere in the long runs,” Verstappen said. “I had no good feeling at all.

“Even on Saturday morning, we tried another long run and that was also severely off, so not happy at all. But then I think already going into qualifying, the car felt a lot better.

“So I knew that today was going to be better, but I had no clue how much better.”

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