Spanish GP: Christian Horner reacts as Sergio Perez has to give up P1 to Max Verstappen

Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen

Christian Horner has sought to shed some light on Red Bull asking Sergio Perez to let Max Verstappen take the lead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Bulls earned a one-two here at a blistering hot Circuit de Catalunya, with Verstappen maintaining his record of winning every race he finishes this season.

Indeed, he did so with another one-two for the team from Milton Keynes, but it could well have been Perez’s victory on another day.

On different strategies, Max closed up in the final stages of the race on fresher tyres compared to Checo in P1 and the call came from Red Bull to ask Sergio to move over if Verstappen did indeed get close enough for the overtake.

That was a foregone conclusion thanks to the difference in tyre wear, of course, and Checo vented his frustrations over the radio by saying: “That’s very unfair, but ok.”

Clearly, Perez wasn’t pleased at a call that effectively took victory away from him but Horner has tried to explain the thinking behind it since the chequered flag:

“I think the problem that we had we could see as with other cars, we had temperatures raging like with water, oil, brakes,” Horner told Sky F1.

“And the last thing you want to risk is a DNF when you have got two cars that can potentially one-two, and they were on different strategies, so it wasn’t a straight fight as Max had such a tyre advantage.

Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 22: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 and Second placed Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on the slow down lap during the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 22, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

“And of course, Checo’s tyres wouldn’t have made it, we don’t think, to the end. So that’s why he pitted towards the end of the race to get that valuable, fastest lap as well.

“Our responsibility is to bring the cars home with as many points as we can. And of course, what Checo couldn’t see at the time, which I think he’d see perfectly well now, is that you had such a long stint to do on that medium tyre. Max had such a tyre advantage.

“From a team perspective, there’s just no point in taking that risk with an intermittent DRS, with temperatures raging up and down. So it was absolutely the right thing to do.”

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