Red Bull Formula 1 chief Christian Horner says the team surpassed all expectations during the first half of the 2016 season, ranking second in the constructors’ championship during the summer break.
After a difficult 2015 campaign that saw its efforts blighted by issues with the Renault power unit, Red Bull entered 2016 hopeful of recovering some of the ground lost on teams such as Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams.
Significant progress was made by Renault in the engine department over the winter which, combined with the strength of the RB12 chassis, has allowed Red Bull to return to the top step of the podium via Max Verstappen in Spain.
A double podium finish in Germany last weekend lifted Red Bull above Ferrari to second place in the constructors’ championship, beating any expectations Horner had heading into the season.
“To finish up second and third on the podium at Hockenheim, to have outscored Ferrari and go into the summer break with a 14 point advantage over them in the constructors’ championship is a great end to a really strong first half of the year,” Horner said.
“Time for a well-earned break for all of the team, to recharge their batteries and come back for the final nine races, where there are circuits on the calendar that will hopefully suit us.
“We’ve exceeded all of our expectations in the first half of the season. I don’t think pre-season any of us could have imagined to have been second in the constructors’ championship after 11 rounds.”
Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.
The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).
It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).
Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.
The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.
“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”
“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”