Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has dismissed criticism from Max Verstappen’s father Jos and insists the reigning F1 world champion will not be prioritised over team-mate Sergio Perez. Red Bull now says that the Dutchman is no longer a priority with Checo in the Formula 1 title hunt as well.
Perez won his first race of the season at the Monaco GP, punctuating a start to the campaign that saw him compete more closely with Verstappen than he did in his first year with the team.
After Perez’s triumph in Monaco, Jos Verstappen said points had been “thrown away” because the team had “exerted little influence” and therefore didn’t help his son as world championship leader.
However, Horner backed the team’s decision and insisted that Perez, who has just signed a two-year contract extension, is on equal terms with Verstappen.
“Dads are never totally objective,” Horner responded to such criticism in the Baku paddock.
“What wasn’t apparent was all the information we had during a race. If Max had stopped in the pits, he would have come out behind George Russell.”
“Jos has his own personality. He has opinions and that’s fine, that’s his opinion. The reality for us was obviously slightly different… that’s not a problem.”
Horner insists that if Perez outperforms his teammate – as he did in Monaco – he will get the first call in terms of strategy during the race.
“The number one driver is the driver in front, it’s as simple as that,” Horner continued. “That’s why Checo got the call for the pit stop first, Max didn’t have a favourable track position yet anyway.”
“But, our fight is not between the two drivers, we have a very competitive Ferrari with two fast drivers in it. Collectively, as a team, we have to fight and take on the Ferrari challenge, which looks very fast this year.”