Christian Horner stands by Red Bull's decision to keep private the cause of a team orders dispute that occurred at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen – who had slipped back in the field earlier in the race following a clash with Lewis Hamilton – was allowed to overtake Sergio 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 action, though both drivers went on to state that they had discussed the matter privately and that their relationship remained intact.
Despite this, speculation remained over what had been the cause of Verstappen's refusal to follow the order.
Horner reflects on Brazil dispute
During an interview with Australian outlet Speedcafe, Horner was asked if the decision to keep the root cause of the dispute private may have fuelled antagonism on social media.
Red Bull put out a statement at the time condemning the "abusive online behaviour" towards various members of the team and their family members in the aftermath of the incident.
Horner believes that the ins and outs of what happened did not necessarily need to be made public.
"I think there [are] certain things that your drivers have the right to discuss in private, between themselves," the team boss explained.
"Not every conversation has to be covered through digital media. The drivers had a good conversation after the race in Brazil. The air was absolutely cleared, you could see that by the time they'd arrived in Abu Dhabi [for the next race].
"I think this has been a phenomenal pairing for Red Bull. The success that they've achieved over the last couple of seasons, their joint performance achieving first [in the] Constructors' Championship this year, the first in nine years [for the team].
"It has been a remarkable performance by both of them and I'm sure, moving forward, they're going to be delivering as they have done [during] the last couple of seasons."
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Verstappen and Perez share 'decent relationship'
Despite the incident, Horner does not forsee any future problems in the relationship between Verstappen and Perez.
"They're both pretty grown-up individuals, and they both have an open relationship with each other," Horner continued.
"If ever there is an issue, it gets discussed, it gets put on the table and you talk it through. I think communication is always the best way to deal with any issue, and Sergio is an experienced guy, he's been around a long time.
"He's a very rounded guy, and Max [is] very much a straight-shooter as well. The two of them have always enjoyed a decent relationship, and I just see that continuing."
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