Red Bull team principal Christian Horner praised Max Verstappen’s decision to pit for intermediate tyres which helped him take second place.
“I think we should box, we’re losing time,” Verstappen told his team on the radio. “People are going off,” he added.
While some teams made the call on changing tyres for their drivers, Horner said Red Bull left it up to Verstappen.
“I think when they cross over the call is always with the driver,” he said. “They can feel the level of grip for what they can cope with. They can see more, when the weather is on top of us.”
“That is obviously how we operate, that cross-over is down to the driver to call,” he added. “And I think that Max made a great call there.”
Horner said the weather data available to the teams on the pit wall was ambiguous about whether the rain would continue. “It was saying that the rain was around. It’s not telling you how much, whether it’s going to stop or start or keep going. So it was very tricky to read.”
The ambiguity in the data, he said, made the drivers’ input essentially. “Obviously the drivers have more vision of that, out on circuit. You can see it was coming for a few laps and then it was either going to pass and dry or intensify and so it was a little bit of a gamble.”
While Verstappen profited from the late shower team mate Sergio Perez fell from third to ninth. Lando Norris, who led much of the race, finished seventh after staying out too long on slicks.
“You’ve got to feel sorry for Norris, within a couple of laps of getting to the end there,” said Horner. “I think Checo [pitted] prior to him.
“But obviously he felt that there was a chance, he drove a great race today and got back up into into third and should have been on the podium.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2021 Russian Grand Prix
- Sochi disappointment will make Norris and McLaren stronger, says Seidl
- F1 race start times could be brought forward to avoid Spa-style wash-outs
- New technology in Ferrari’s power unit update vital for 2022 – Binotto
- Mercedes have left too many points on the table, admits Wolff
- We made too many mistakes and didn’t deserve points – Gasly