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Christian Horner

Horner adamant Verstappen will support Perez in Abu Dhabi after talks

After Max Verstappen ignored a team order to let Sergio Perez by on the last lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Red Bull boss Christian Horner has given his reaction to what happened.

Verstappen Perez Spain
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To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Christian Horner insists that Max Verstappen will support Red Bull's effort to help Sergio Perez at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after Verstappen's team order refusal in Brazil.

Verstappen – who had slipped back in the field earlier in the race following a clash with Lewis Hamilton – was allowed to overtake Perez in the latter stages in an attempt to attack Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc ahead, with the Mexican struggling on his Medium tyres.

While Verstappen was told by his engineer to let Perez by on the final lap if he could not pass Alonso, the World Champion refused the direct order, claiming he had his reasons for doing so.

Perez later voiced his disappointment at his teammate's actions, and Red Bull boss Horner has since given his reaction to what happened.

Horner adamant Red Bull are focused on Abu Dhabi

With Perez now tied on points with Leclerc in the World Championship battle for P2, Horner insists that the whole team will be focused on helping him to seal the position in Abu Dhabi – Verstappen included.

"We discussed it behind closed doors, the drivers have discussed it," Horner told media after the race.

"As a team, our focus – going into Abu Dhabi, with Charles and Checo tied on points – is to do our best that we can to support Checo, to achieve second place.

"Max has obviously made that commitment as well so, as far as we're concerned, it's about looking forward, not looking backwards."

Horner would not be drawn on Verstappen's reasons for refusing the order.

"I'm not going to disclose what's discussed behind closed doors," he added.

Dutch media have since reported that Verstappen's reason may have been linked to the Monaco Grand Prix weekend in May.

Verstappen and Perez have 'shaken hands', says Horner

When asked if the manner in which the issue played out on team radio was not ideal, Horner suggested that Ferrari had suffered worse incidents in this regard.

"I think it's probably a little less public than Ferrari's," Horner said.

Further pressed on whether Verstappen will move aside for Perez if needed in Abu Dhabi, Horner indicated that the Dutchman will do whatever he can to help.

"As a team – and Max has made that clear as well – whatever we can do to achieve [second for Perez in the championship], as a team, we will," he explained.

"It's something that we've never achieved as a team previously, even in the V8 era, so it's going to be an exciting Abu Dhabi for other dynamics, fighting for second in the championship this year."

Horner is confident that the drivers will remain focused on this goal after discussing the Brazil incident privately.

"It's been discussed behind closed doors, and I think the drivers are all very clear," he added.

"They know what the objective is, they've cleared the air with each other, they've shaken hands, and we focus on the next race in Abu Dhabi."

Also interesting:

Video: F1 pit-stops under two seconds are allowed (and THIS is why)

At the Mexico City Grand Prix, McLaren became the first team to complete a sub-two second pit-stop since the introduction of the new F1 pit-stop regulations, changing all four tyres on Daniel Ricciardo's car in 1.98 seconds.

So how did the team do this, and what changes have been made to F1's pit-stop procedure in the last couple of years?

F1 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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