F1, Red Bull explains the order to Perez not to fight Verstappen: "2018 is not far away"

Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner motivated the choice not to leave the drivers free to battle, recalling the accident between Ricciardo and Verstappen in 2018

Red Bull is on the run in both classifications of the F1 2022 World Championship. The events of the Azerbaijan GP weekend allowed the Milton Keynes team not only to take home the third double win of the season, but also to fly to +80 points on the Ferrari in the Constructors ‘championship, and +34 on Charles Leclerc in the Drivers’ championship. Yet, despite the victory over velvet following the double technical knockout of rivals, team principal Christian Horner on Sunday was not without some moments of tension. Solved only with that “No fighting” with which, via radio, Sergio Perez was asked not to resist the attack of comrade Verstappen.


Watching the Red Bulls zigzagging along the long Baku straight fighting for position immediately brought to mind the incident between Verstappen himself and then-teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the 2018 edition of the Azerbaijani GP, which ended with the wreckage of both cars. in the escape route of curve 1. A mental association which, evidently, also marked the reasoning of the pit wall, which preferred to forbid the brawl between the two drivers. “The difference in pace – explained team principal Horner – between Max and Checo was significant, and we had already discussed in the morning that, in the event that there was a fight on the track, they would have to make room for each other. 2018 is not that far away in our memory, so it was very important that, at this stage of the championship, our drivers were correct with each other. The priority remains that of earning as many points as possible on the Ferrari ”.


In short, a half team order – very different from the request to give up the position that mortified Perez’s chances of victory in Barcelona – which guaranteed Red Bull the possibility of capitalizing a good 44 to 0 against rivals: ” We know that the car is fast at the moment. But we also know how things can change over the course of a season, so we need to prioritize the team’s goals. Checo is a very mature boy, he sees the drawing as a whole and knows that the championship is very long. He is in great shape and we also saw him with his performance in qualifying ”. There is also a consideration on the set-up, which allowed Perez to hit second place in Q3, but penalized him in the race with excessive tire wear: “With hindsight, we can say that in terms of setup we bet a little too much on the flying lap. Sergio had a high degradation in the rear, while Max was in much better shape. It is an aspect that we will have to consider for the future ”.

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