Just 4 Months Post Brazil, Christian Horner Switches Stance on Max Verstappen & Sergio Perez’s Red Bull Civil War

Published 04/10/2023, 6:30 AM EDT

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The 2022 Brazilian GP changed the dynamic between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez completely. Before the race day, the duo shared a cordial relationship given how Perez happily played second fiddle to the Dutchman. However, as the reigning champion refused to follow team orders to return the favor, things went awry. Checo called his teammate out for his hypocrisy publically on the team radio.

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However, Christian Horner quickly went into damage control mode, ensuring that nothing of that sort will ever repeat itself. It’s been only 4 months and a few days since then and Verstappen pulled out another curveball in Jeddah for the team to deal with. This time around, though, the team boss is in no mood to interfere.

As the race in Jeddah progressed towards the last few laps, with Perez leading the pack and Verstappen in 2nd, both drivers inquired about the fastest lap in the hope of scoring the extra point. The Mexican was told to hold on to his pace as he held the fastest lap until then. His teammate too was asked to stay put as the team wanted him to bring the car home, given he was facing some issues.

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But Max once again defied team orders and pulled off a heist in the final lap for the extra point. Checo was far from impressed with his teammate’s conduct and kept his calm. While everyone expected Horner to intervene, he refused to, citing the perfect result his two drivers scored.

via Reuters

Soymotor recently quoted him as saying, “Max and Checo have the same car. It is up to them to choose their destiny and how they approach the title race on the track.” [Translated using Google]

The comments do not come as a surprise as the Red Bull boss previously held a similar position.

Despite Max Verstappen maintaining his dominance on top, Christian Horner varies in threat from rivals

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After 2 races of watching themselves falling down the pecking order behind Aston Martin, Mercedes pulled off a thrilling P2 finish courtesy of Lewis Hamilton. That being said, Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso remain big threats. Ferrari has some promising changes in the pipeline that can see them turn into title contenders once again soon.

via Imago

Reflecting on rivals’ progress, Horner said, “It cannot be predicted that everything will come down to a battle between our two drivers. In Melbourne, the positions were closer. We cannot underestimate Ferrari, which will react. Mercedes will reach the level with its new car. And Aston Martin is a great car that will change by 60% if we listen to what Alonso says.”

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Watch This Story: Daniel Ricciardo’s Best Moments in F1

If Christian’s assessments are to go by, things could certainly spice up in the coming days. But is it only the threats from outside that Red Bull needs to be on the lookout for?

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Written by:

Nischay Rathore

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Nischay Rathore is a senior Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports with an impressive portfolio of over 850 published articles. With a keen eye for sports and a passion for Formula 1, soccer, and tennis Nischay has embarked on a journey in sports journalism. As a long-time Formula 1 fan, Nischay enjoys reflecting on races from the sport’s past.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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