F1 news: Christian Horner 'surprised' by conservative tyre strategy employed by Mercedes

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was taken aback by Mercedes' decision to use a medium-hard tyre strategy at the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen eased to a record-breaking 14th race win of the 2022 campaign after Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes switched to the conservative tyre strategy.

There didn't seem to be much grip in the harder compounds and Hamilton, which meant the Brit could not keep up with Verstappen's medium-soft rubber Red Bull.

"I think that we got the strategy right here," said Horner.

"I think, for us, the soft-medium looked like the quicker race. The medium-hard, the hard - there is just not as much grip with the tyre, so we were quite surprised that Mercedes went as conservative as they did with the medium-hard strategy.

"But Max, he's the first guy ever to convert a pole position into a race lead through turns one and two and really, he controlled the race from the very beginning on those soft tyres, not warming them up too quickly, making sure there was longevity to them.

"And actually, when they came off the car, there was still a lot of life left in them and that gave us even more confidence that the medium tyre would be fine as a one-stop.

"Again, it was a question of not abusing that tyre which is something that he has just been masterful at this year."

Asked whether Mercedes may have been challenging for the win with a better tyre strategy, Horner added: "I think we still had the edge but they would have been a lot closer.

"You could hear their drivers weren't very happy about the hard tyre and that's the second weekend in a row that they've put that tyre on and it's cost them a victory.

"I was quite surprised at that."

Latest news