Christian Horner has told their Formula 1 World Champion that “Red Bull Racing is not Max Verstappen Racing” in the wake of comments made by Jos Verstappen suggesting his son’s team get their priorities right.
This priority, from a Verstappen perspective, is that he is the number one driver and that Title thrust must be on his side of the garage not for Sergio Perez. Why the Mexican one may ask?
Because Verstappen’s older teammate has put himself into 2022 F1 Title contention with a fine win at the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix, which has Perez third in the driver’s standings trailing his teammate who leads by 15 points and is only six behind second-placed Charles Leclerc.
Reacting to Verstappen senior’s call for the team to back his son’s Title effort, Horner told Bloomberg: “We’re not talking about Sergio Perez Racing or Max Verstappen Racing here. It’s about Red Bull Racing.
“The drivers work for the team and bear this responsibility. It is important that they realise that the ambitions of the team are greater than their own,” insisted the Red Bull boss.
As for Perez’s surge into title contention after seven rounds, Horner said: “He is in this championship just as much Max is, the difference between the two of them is nothing. He and Max have been a lot closer this year.”
Horner: Checo is doing a great job this year, closer than ever to Max
Regarding Monaco, Horner said in the team report: “It was an amazing day for us and an amazing day for Checo, he’s been on it all weekend so it’s a well-deserved victory. The teamwork and for both of our drivers to pick off a Ferrari was fantastic.
“Checo is doing a great job this year, in Jeddah, he had that amazing pole and the time delta between him and Max has been a lot closer this year. To win this race is a deserved victory,”
After the race in Monaco, Verstappen was asked by reporters that with his teammate also in title contention, for the one big prize, would that not bring about tensions and/or destabilise a harmonious and respectful relationship the pair have had thus far?
The reigning F1 World Champion, unperturbed and apparently even relishing the challenge, he replied: “Why would it change? We work really well as a team.
“We always try to optimise the car and work for the team and we can accept when somebody does a good job or does a better job and I think that’s very important because that’s how you are respectful to each other.
“May the best man win at the end, right? We always, of course, [are] trying to do the best we can on the track but we also respect each other a lot,” added Verstappen who tops the 2022 F1 drivers’ standings on 125 points ahead of Round 8, the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.