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Christian Horner

Horner explains reason for Verstappen undercut on Perez

The Red Bull Team Principal has explained why the team prioritised Max Verstappen over Sergio Perez in the early pit stops..

Perez Zandvoort wet
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has explained why the team allowed Max Verstappen to undercut teammate Sergio Perez in the opening stages of the Dutch Grand Prix.

The Mexican was running in the lead after being among the first to make the call on the opening lap to switch to Intermediates, which enabled him to take the lead from Verstappen.

But when it came to switching to slicks on the drying track the team decided to give preference to Verstappen, which caused him to undercut Perez and retake the lead.

"There was a couple of reasons behind making that decision because we'd obviously had Alonso go to the slicks as well, and I think it was Gasly behind him [too], and the pace of the undercut," Horner explained when speaking to Sky Sports F1.

"If we would've pitted Checo first and Max the second lap, we had the risk of coming out after that of being first and fourth. Rather than the risk was for Checo because Max was catching at seven seconds in three laps.

"His out lap was so extreme, it took us slightly by surprise that Max jumped Checo. So just so much happening in very, very vulnerable conditions."

Horner explains bizarre circumstances that led to Perez penalty

The Mexican was given a time penalty at the end of the race for speeding in the pit lane when aquaplaning into the wall on entry ahead of a late-race red flag.

Perez had already been off the road when sliding at Turn 1 as heavy rain fell on the same lap, losing second to Fernando Alonso.

Despite finishing third on the road, the time penalty promoted Alpine's Pierre Gasly to third at the chequered flag.

"He was just desperately unlucky because it looks like he got the [penalty] for speeding in a pit lane when he came into the pits before the red flag, and he's hit the wall up there which is why the repairs were taking place on his car," said Horner.

"Then to pick up the five-second penalty when he was probably actually surfing at that point as opposed to speeding, very harsh for him and he deserves to be on the podium."

F1 2023 Dutch Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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