RED BULL made a crucial mistake that benefitted Lewis Hamilton at the Mexican Grand Prix.
Christian Horner has confirmed that Red Bull will launch an investigation into a mistake from mechanics that inadvertently propelled Lewis Hamilton into a P2 finish at the Mexican Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez started his home race in fourth on the grid, but his chances of finishing in second behind teammate Max Verstappen were scuppered by an uncharacteristically slow pit stop.
Perez’s second stop clocked in at 5.3 seconds, crucially preventing ‘Checo’ the chance to undercut the Mercedes of Hamilton, that had only pitted once.
Red Bull’s decision to switch Perez to the medium tyres ultimately failed as they looked to press Hamilton who was on the slower hard-compounds.
And despite Verstappen’s dominant victory, the race represented further strides forward for Red Bull’s rivals Mercedes as Hamilton’s teammate George Russell took fourth.
Team Principal Horner has opened up on the error that denied Perez the opportunity of a P2 finish, insisting it will be reviewed in the Red Bull camp before the penultimate race of the season in Brazil.
“I think without the issue of the pitstop, I think Checo [Perez] would have got the jump on Lewis,” Horner told reporters.
“We need to investigate what caused that. It looks like the nut actually stuck, or it wouldn’t undo cleanly.
“But it was a great recovery from him. Again, very strong pace, but just not quite enough to be able to make the pass on Lewis.
“Unfortunately, he was 0.03 of a second off [Hamilton] when he wanted to get the DRS, and so he just wasn’t quite within range.”
Red Bull, so often flawless in the pit lane, have now made two mistakes in succession after world champion Verstappen had a delayed stop at the US Grand Prix.
On that occasion, Hamilton did not have the pace to capitalise and the Dutchman showed the true dominance that Red Bull possesses to fight back and overtake his 2021 rival.
Meanwhile, Horner also admitted that he has been surprised by the Silver Arrow tyre strategy, which he believes has cost them chances to win the last two races.
“We were quite surprised Mercedes went as conservative as they did with the medium/hard strategy,” he said after the Mexican GP.
“I think we still had the edge but they would have been a lot closer. If you hear their drivers, they’re not very happy about the hard tyre.
“That’s the second weekend in a row they’ve put that tyre on and it’s cost them a victory. I was quite surprised at that.”