Horner: Filming day at Silverstone “great” to test COVID-19 procedures

Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Christian Horner has said that the team’s outing at Silverstone yesterday was “great”, as the squad prepares for new procedures as a result of COVID-19.

With the first Grand Prix of the season finally due to get underway next weekend at Austria, a number of teams have been using either older cars, or media filming days to re-acclimatise and get some running underway, due to the lack of track time since pre-season testing in March.

Red Bull took to the Silverstone circuit yesterday, using one of its allocated filming days to get the RB16 up and running, and Alex Albon completed 100km.

His team-mate Max Verstappen will need to wait until next weekend before he can drive the car again, as he has been living outside of the UK and the current quarantine laws would’ve have made it logistically impossible for him to make it to the Northampton circuit.

Although the day gave Albon time to blow off the cobwebs and get back up to speed, it also allowed the pit crew to get used to new procedures that have been put in place to protect staff from COVID-19.

Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Speaking about the test day, Horner said: “We’ve been at Silverstone today to get ourselves back up to speed – practicing garage protocols and pitstop procedures with the new COVID-19 precautions in place.

“As a trial run this has been great for the Team to enable them to get used to these procedures, which are a little bit foreign, but which are vitally important.

“By the time we get to Austria, these procedures will be the new normal and today ensures that everybody knows what’s expected of them when we get to Austria. It’s important for the safety of our Team and everyone around us in Formula One.”

The Red Bull team boss also acknowledged that it was good for Albon to get back up to speed, especially given his lack of experience in the series, and believes it will benefit the Thai-Anglo driver for next weekend.

“Today has been very useful for Alex too, to get himself dialled in again.” Horner added.

“He’s still relatively inexperienced in Formula One terms, so to have a day that’s pretty spread out and to do those 100 km, albeit on show car tyres, is something that he’ll be able to take into Austria and benefit from.”