Red Bull Racing attributes Mexico win to altitude

Max Verstappen in Mexico

Red Bull Racing believes that Max Verstappen’s Mexican Grand Prix win was due to high altitude reducing the impact of its power deficit.

Mexico City’s altitude means that the air is less dense than at other circuits, tightening the relative performance of each engine.

While Verstappen was pipped to pole by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, he took the lead at the first corner and drove away to a comfortable victory.

RBR knows its car is aerodynamically efficient, and team principal Christian Horner said the Renault engine’s disadvantages were cancelled out in Mexico.

“What happens is that the engine plays less of a role,” he said.

“It is the most competitive we have looked in straightline speed all season.

“We got pretty close to pole position and then our qualifying (engine) mode is the same as our race modes, so we therefore look very competitive in race trim.

“The altitude, as we have seen in the last couple of seasons, has been a bit of a leveller on that front.”

Although Verstappen’s main rivals for victory, namely Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, were effectively out of contention after their first-lap clash, Horner thinks his driver had both of them covered anyway.

“Bearing in mind we lapped Lewis and were closing in on (lapping) Sebastian, I have no doubt that we were in really good shape,” he said.

The only frustration for Red Bull was that it missed out on the opportunity to have two cars on the podium.

Daniel Ricciardo had made it up from 16th on the grid, following an engine change penalty, to seventh in the first five laps before an MGU-H problem put him out.

“I think Daniel could have been at least third,” said Horner.

“He was right behind Kimi and looking in great shape, and I think he would actually have given Bottas a hard time.

“It was a shame that we didn’t have both cars.

“But Daniel had a run of great fortune earlier in the year and as I have always said it unfortunately always tends to balance itself out.”

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