Red Bull boss Christian Horner has heaped praise on Renault for its role in the team storming to a front-row lockout and Max Verstappen’s dominant victory at the Mexican Grand Prix despite a fraught end to its partnership across 2018.

Since Red Bull’s confirmed switch to Honda power units from next year, Horner has been openly critical of Renault’s efforts having blamed the French manufacturer for denying it a consistent title challenge against Mercedes and Ferrari.

Driver Ratings - Mexican GP

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With engines taking a hit in the high altitude in Mexico City, along with Red Bull’s concentrated efforts on the race by taking engine penalties at previous events, Red Bull secured back-to-back triumphs with Verstappen following his 2017 win.

This year’s performance proved even greater with a dominant display through qualifying and the race with teammate Daniel Ricciardo taking pole position ahead of Verstappen before the Dutch driver took victory.

“Credit where credit is due,” Horner reflected. “Renault have provided us with an engine this weekend in these conditions that is competitive with our opponents.”

Red Bull were denied a shot at a one-two result in the race due to Daniel Ricciardo’s sixth mechanical retirement of the year but Horner still left Mexico satisfied with the results.

“We went head to head [with Red Bull’s rivals], locked out the front row, pole position, second position, front row of the grid, and won the grand prix in a dominant fashion,” he said. “Theoretically we should have had a one-two too.”

“The altitude of this circuit obviously does constrain some of our rivals, and it puts Renault into a window where they are competitive. Which is why we put an awful lot of focus into this race, taking the penalties to get another B spec into the pool to have for this weekend.”

Verstappen’s second win of the year marks Red Bull’s third win in 2018 to equal last year’s tally.

Red Bull has opted to form a partnership with Honda following the early success by the Japanese manufacturer with its sister squad Toro Rosso which begins next year, meaning the Milton Keynes has two more F1 races with Renault.

Red Bull and Renault dominated F1 with four consecutive world drivers’ and constructors’ titles between 2010 and 2013.

The Mexican race also proved a successful event for the works Renault squad with Nico Hulkenberg securing a second consecutive 'best of the rest' in the F1 midfield fight to take sixth place.

 

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