Team radio evidence shows Red Bull shafting Perez

Despite what appeared to many that Red Bull shafted Max Verstappens’ team mate, Sergio Perez, Christian Horner believes his team made the “right decision” at the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. Sergio Perez, who was leading the race at the time, was ordered to let his team-mate Max Verstappen through to take victory. It appeared that Perez wasn’t being allowed to perform his trump card of preserving tyre life demonstrated many times before over the years.

At the Spanish Grand Prix, Sergio Perez who was on a two-stop strategy, found himself leading the race in Barcelona on Sunday, but his team asked him not to impede the comeback of team-mate Max Verstappen, who was on a three-stop strategy. The Mexican did so and let the Dutchman through, who went on to win for the third time in a row after Imola and Miami. Sergio Perez immediately switched to a three-stop strategy to take the fastest lap point in the race on soft tyres.

What is apparent is how Perez is moved immediately for Max yet he has to blow his fresh tyre advantage sitting behind Max later on. What is also clear is that Red Bull has stacked all cards to Max, further, all lap time delta advice is all relative to beating George, not winning the race and challenging Max.

The pure frustration of Perez is easily heard on the team radio (see video player below). The team clearly say that he will get his chance later on, which he doesn’t.


After the race Perez was annoyed at potentially losing a win in Barcelona after following his team’s “orders”, and the Mexican said he would have a discussion with Red Bull in the next few days. However, on the team management side, Christian Horner explained that Sergio Perez had a clear tyre disadvantage over his team-mate and it was for this reason in particular that Red Bull asked him to let Max Verstappen through. For Perez, the frustration was obvious, with the Mexican who is known to be the best of the field for extending tyre life, it appeared Red Bull had totally shafted Verstappen’s team mate.

“I think the problem we had was that we could see – as I think the other cars could – that we had very high water, oil and brake temperatures and the last thing you want when you have both cars leading is to risk a retirement because you can potentially seal a one-two,” Horner explained after the race in Barcelona on Sunday night.


“They [Verstappen and Perez] had different strategies, so it wasn’t a straight fight. Max had such a tyre advantage and of course Checo’s [Perez] tyres wouldn’t have survived to the end I think.

“That’s why he stopped towards the end of the race to get that precious fastest lap [which earns a bonus point].

“Our responsibility is to bring both cars home with as many points as possible. And of course, what Checo couldn’t see was that he had a long stint to do on the Medium tyre and Max had such an advantage with his tyres that it was just not worth taking that risk [to let them fight], especially with intermittent DRS [on Verstappen’s Red Bull] and with temperatures going up and down. So it was absolutely the right thing to do.”


Horner added that he fully understood Sergio Perez’s frustration after the race finish and revealed his intention to have an “open” discussion with his driver ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix scheduled for later this week.

“We will discuss it openly. I think he will see the race, the replay of the race, and he will see that he had about 30 laps to do on the Medium tyre to cover Russell. So in the heat of the moment you can understand, he’s a race driver. If he wasn’t pushing that kind of stuff, he wouldn’t be doing his job.”



18 responses to “Team radio evidence shows Red Bull shafting Perez

  1. Bit silly from Perez. He should know he is nr 2. Max is a way better driver and has the best chances to become wdc. I understand his frustrations but he should know better…

      • True, but you can not base your judgement on 1 race. You have to take all season into account. And besides that, also in this race Max was faster anyway because of different strategy.

  2. Nothing wring with that call. Max was in front of him before the first round of pit stops, and it would have been silly to jeopardise the team’s strategy.

  3. Max V – once again the loser gets a second helping hand – so he can win – the second rater does not have the good grace to acknowledge the help that he has been given!!!!

    • Ánd lh was never ‘given’ a victory? How many times did Bottas make way for him? Got orders to let LH pass? Helped him? Sacrificed himself by being guinee pig for parts or engines. Get real Momo.

      • Get real??? a bit like the pot calling the kettle names!! – LH has always acknowledged the help he has been given as well as the sacrifice that Bottas made for him – plus the fact that when Bottas made way for LH in previous seasons – LH was always miles ahead in the points ladders – last weekend a win by Perez would have placed him close to MV.

        LH has always recognised Mercedes and his team – he never screamed “where’s my F*&^%$£ DRS!!” like a petulant child!!

  4. Sorry, I understand it is a team effort but you cannot call it a race if the finishing order is rigged!!
    How can you call it a ‘sport’ if the outcome is planned?? F1 is going downhill fast. Too much talk and interferance. To reiterate my previous comments, let us go back when drivers got in their cars, started and drove to the end. The first one past the finishing line was the winner, not now.

  5. It’s a TEAMsport. Not an individual sport. Just as in cycling. Go watch athletics if you can’t handle it.

    • It’s a competitive sport – to use Perez as second fiddle to MV is grotesque.

      Who the hell are you to ask people to go and watch athletics!! especially what unfolded in front of people’s eyes was unfair treatment of Chico Perez.

      “go watch athletics??!!” – you are a deluded individual if you think you can ask that – do you have sole viewing rights to F1 giving you the right to act as gatekeeper regarding who can and cannot watch F1?!!

      You deluded individual!!!

      • I mentioned athletics because that’s an individual sport. No teamtactics that you despise so much. So no reason to get excited.

      • I guess we’ve reached the limits of your capabilities to react in a normal way …

      • The loudest noises here are being made by the hamfosi. They have no love lost for Perez but with Max doing so well, they are merely using Perez’s name to take out their frustration. Such creatutres resort to ad hominem attacks. A fine demonstration of their intelligence level.

        • You have clearly demonstrated your inane intelligence level by leaving a comment that a lot of people would not make sense of – a lot of Mexican (and Spanish) fans of F1 feel that Chico Perez was been treated unfairly by handing victory to yet another European driver – I am sure you will find words in latin to do with “winning fairly” – as opposed to being forced to play second fiddle to yet another caucasian – this season is barely a quarter of the way through – who knows how the rest of the season will pan out if given a fair chance – maybe Chico Perez may come out on top at the end.

          I have nothing against MV – I wish him well – lets hope we will have a fair contest rather than a contrived outcome.

  6. Mercedes or any other team has never given team orders so early in the season. Should have let them race. This is why team orders were previously not allowed.

    • I’m hearing an opinion of somebody who has not followed F1 for very long…

      Team orders were banned originally from 2003 until 2010. In 2002, Ferrari issued team orders at the Austrian GP, I believe the 6th race of the year? In 2010, Ferrari told Massa that Alonso was faster. By seasons end, the FIA reinstated team orders.

      But who can forget multi21 at Red Bull or similar coded messages to drivers like Kovalainen being told that Hamilton was quicker and not to slow him down in 2008.

      In 1981, Williams ordered Reutemann to give up the race to Jones his team-mate at the second race of the year. I’m sure if you look through F1 history you’ll find more examples of team orders.

      It’s not a new phenomenon

  7. I find it humorous to say it is a team sport. Vettle. Max would never move over for a team sport .ax is not a team.ayer at.all.

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