Christian Horner did not mince his words when airing his prediction for the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the Red Bull team boss expecting “carnage” in Jeddah today.
After qualifying – in which Red Bull veteran Sergio Perez powered to pole position while favourite to do the deed, Max Verstappen, broke a driveshaft on his hitherto bullet-proof Red Bull RB19 with one car starting from top spot on the grid, and the other in P15 – Horner said on Sky F1: “It is a tough race here.
“It’s going to be a matter of staying out of trouble. There is going to be plenty of action and plenty of carnage, it should provide an exciting race hopefully,” he predicted.
Indeed, the previous two races have claimed several victims to crashes or excusrions on the high speed Jeddah Corniche Circuit, including the scary one suffered by Mick Schumacher in the Haas last year.
As for Verstappen’s woes on Saturday, Horner said: “We have obviously got to get into the car and see exactly what has happened. A great shame because that one lap he did in Q1 would have put him fourth on the grid. Nonetheless, we have got a quick race car and I am sure we he will race well.”
A great opportunity for Checo, important to convert that
As for their pole man, Horner was impressed: “The lap from Checo, the first lap in Q3, was phenomenal, so I am delighted for him to get his second pole. There wasn’t a concern coming into the race. Something obviously has happened there and we need to get to the bottom of it and understand it and make sure that it doesn’t happen.
“It is a great opportunity for Checo, important to convert that, and we are going to have two different races going on in the Grand Prix,” ventured Horner.
As for his use of the word “carnage” to describe his expectations for the race today, we hope hard that Horner is wrong, that word conjures inappropriate visuals which he probably did not mean. But the Netflix-effect on F1 tends to bring out the drama from the cast, for effect, for the show it seems.
With modern F1 cars safer than ever, we tend to forget (and disrespect) Jules Bianchi, Ayrton Senna (who we watched die on TV), and all the other departed F1 drivers. Motorsport is dangerous, thus foolish to tempt fate with ill-advised choice of words.