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Christian Horner

Horner reveals post-race chat with Perez over team orders drama

Sergio Perez was frustrated at having to play the team game at the Spanish Grand Prix as he moved aside for reigning World Champion Max Verstappen.

Sergio Perez
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To news overview © XPB

Christian Horner has claimed that Sergio Perez now "understands clearly" why Red Bull asked him to move aside for Max Verstappen in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Perez, on an alternate strategy and older tyres than his teammate, was given the radio instruction in the closing stages of the 66-lap race.

Verstappen subsequently stormed clear to take victory and lead a second Red Bull 1-2 finish of the season, leaving Perez frustrated at a missed victory chance.

Speaking to his race engineer over the radio, Perez said: "That's very unfair, but okay... I am happy for the team, but we need to speak later."

Horner explains post-race talk with Perez

However, after the initial frustration, Horner revealed a post-race conversation that gave the Mexican some extra insight.

"I spoke with him when he got out of the car," began Horner, speaking to media, including RacingNews365.com.

"The problem for any driver is that they don't have a clear overview of the strategy or a race plot in front of them.

"It's always going to be emotive to give up a lead, but he played very much the team game.

"I think he understood clearly it wasn't a like-for-like fight, because the pace delta between the strategies was so great."

Horner: It didn't make any sense to let them fight

Perez and Verstappen were running up front after clearing George Russell's Mercedes and benefitting from Charles Leclerc's retirement.

With a 1-2 on the cards, Horner expanded on the reasons why Red Bull were reluctant to let their drivers go wheel-to-wheel for the win.

"With temperatures, water temperatures, oil temperatures, a DRS that was intermittently working [on Verstappen's car], it didn't make any sense to let them fight, because it was an unfair fight," he commented.

"As it turned out, we had to pit Checo for [fresh tyres to make it to] the end of the race.

"Both drivers worked together as a team, and to get the maximum points was hugely important on a day that, unfortunately, Ferrari had an issue."

Red Bull now lead Ferrari by 26 points in the Constructors' standings.

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F1 2022 Spanish Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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