Christian Horner on Red Bull's success and hints at next step
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Sergio Perez has been branded “weak” for demanding Red Bull intervene to help him beat Charles Leclerc. Ernest Knoors, a former Ferrari engineer, claimed it was a “weakness” to enlist the help of Max Verstappen to secure a result.
Instead, Knoors claims Perez should have been “fast enough” to beat Leclerc himself to secure the runners-up spot in the championship. Reigning champion Verstappen claimed he would help Perez in Abu Dhabi but dominated the race to secure his 15th win as Perez struggled in P3.
On lap 29, the Mexican claimed he was being “held up” by Verstappen. However, Knoors claims the message was Perez hinting at the team to get involved in the battle to help him beat Leclerc.
Knoors told Motorsport.com: “To be fair, he was of course not held up, because he was always at least two seconds behind, but I think it was Sergio’s way of seeing if he can get something done with his team that helps him with the strategy.
“If you want to finish second in the championship, I think you have to make sure you’re fast enough to control the situation. I think it’s a bit of a weakness to enlist the help of your team-mate.”
Perez eventually missed out on securing P2 in the Drivers’ Championship by just one point as Leclerc finished second to Perez’s third in the final race. The incident came a week after the team were involved in a team orders feud at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Red Bull begged Verstappen to let Perez through in Sao Paulo but the Dutchman refused to follow orders.
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After the chequered flag, Verstappen claimed he had reasons to not let Perez through with rumours suggesting it was because of an incident at the Monaco Grand Prix back in May. Perez slammed Verstappen over team radio, moaning that his team-mate’s refusal to follow orders “shows who he really is”.
Perez later added: “I’m really surprised. I’ve nothing to say, really, I mean, after all I’ve done for him it’s a bit disappointing to be honest. I was told to let him by that I was going to get back the position. I don’t know what was the communication with him on his side.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner admitted the team had held discussions with their drivers after the controversy.
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