The reason Red Bull put out such an underwhelming performance at Brazil GP was due to a “Conservative” engine mode the team used to protect the power unit from failure.
Even after winning two races out of last five, and showing a good pace in the qualy, the Milton Keynes-based team could not do well in the actual race on Sunday.
Team boss Christian Horner says that apart from the track characteristics, winding down the engine to make sure it doesn’t cause reliability issues were the main reasons for a less than impressive show.
When asked to explain what he means, Horner said: “I think, circuit layout, and we’ve run pretty conservative engine-wise – to be honest with you.
“The way that the race panned out, Max [Verstappen] was having to take so much out of the tyre to go with the leading group, and you could see, if he got within two seconds, it started to damage the tyres.
“Early on, he thought he was quicker than Kimi, but then the tyre started to get into a few issues and then you start to be restricted in your stint length. So it was one of those days where we just didn’t quite have enough pace to mount a challenge to the cars ahead.”
Red Bull is unhappy with Renault’s reliability problems and after a massive number of cars running Renault engine failed at Mexico, they saw no value in pushing the cars to their limits.
“I think after all the problems that there’s been, it was perhaps the more prudent approach to the race,” he explained. “And this layout – you know, it’s different, it’s very power sensitive here, more so than Mexico.
“With the operating parameters, we ran a little lower. But of course it’s a different challenge here, there’s a lot more full throttle here than there is in Mexico.”