Horner plays down Red Bull quit threat

Apr.14 (GMM) Christian Horner is now playing down Red Bull’s F1 quit threat.

Earlier, directing their anger at engine supplier Renault, the energy drink company’s mogul Dietrich Mateschitz and Dr Helmut Marko said the situation could move either the French carmaker or Red Bull to pull out.

But team boss Horner has now clarified Mateschitz’s remarks.

“If you look closely at his comments,” he is quoted by DPA news agency, “he was encouraging Renault to continue to improve and do the job properly.”

Horner said Renault, as a company and a F1 competitor, is in fact “better than we see of them now”, insisting all the comments have been about “how to deal with the current situation”.

“It’s a long season but hopefully at the end we will look back and say this was a low point but we recovered,” he added.

For Red Bull, it is a much more promising time for its junior F1 team, Toro Rosso.

Boss Franz Tost has been notably less critical of Renault, telling De Telegraaf newspaper: “It is not good for our cooperation if we openly criticise.

“I am convinced that sooner or later they will come up with a solution,” he said, referring to Renault’s performance and reliability issues.

Also on the bright side, Red Bull has unearthed a true talent in 2015 in the shape of Max Verstappen, who has impressed the F1 world despite his mere age of 17.

Dutchman Verstappen was having another good race in China when his Renault engine failed, and he admitted that he furiously threw his helmet in frustration behind closed doors.

But Tost insisted: “Technical problems are part of the game. This kind of experience is part of Max’s learning process.

“And I must say it is nice to see how Max deals with everything. He is professional and dedicated.”

Verstappen himself concluded: “I think Red Bull is quite happy with me, but not with the engine!”

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