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Christian Horner

Horner addresses Verstappen Perez clash: 'The rules are fair'

The Red Bull duo recovered to secure a one-two in the Austrian GP Sprint.

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has insisted the rules of engagement for Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are "very fair" after two near-misses at the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint.

Tension between the two drivers escalated for the first time since Brazil last season when Perez pushed Verstappen onto the grass having assumed the lead out of Turn 1 at the Red Bull Ring.

Two-time F1 World Champion Verstappen recovered and fought back into Turn 3, though with low grip on Intermediates in tricky conditions saw the Dutchman slither wide, forcing his teammate off the road and allowing Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg up into second.

Verstappen called for talks after the Milton Keynes-based outfit secured a comfortable one-two in the 24-lap Sprint in order avoid future issues, with past tension arising through his decision not to conform with team orders at Interlagos last year.

That was believed to stem from Perez supposedly deliberately crashing in Monaco Grand Prix qualifying.

Give each other space

Addressing the first-lap near-misses, Horner told Sky Sports F1: "I think Checo had Max unsighted on the right-hand side.

"Thankfully, they didn't collect each other and a one-two finish is a great result for the team.

"The rules are very fair: race hard and give each other space. At [turns] one and three, yes [they abided by the rules]. It was the bit in the middle where it got a bit tasty but maybe Checo didn't see Max."

F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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