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Perez is a title contender, admits Horner

NEWS STORY
31/05/2022

A week after the "unfair" team order that saw Sergio Perez forced to yield to his Red Bull teammate, Christian Horner insists that the Mexican is "in this championship just as much as Max is".

While the Monaco result owes as much to Ferrari (once again) shooting itself in the foot strategy-wise, Perez, was there to take full advantage.

Furthermore, throughout the weekend, despite - or possibly fired up by - the disappointment of Barcelona where he was ordered to yield the lead to his teammate, Perez was the quicker of the two Red Bull drivers.

His victory in Monaco sees him third in the championship, just 15 points behind his teammate, and while sceptics believe that Red Bull still sees the Mexican as being from outside 'the family', Christian Horner insists that Perez is in for a chance of the title.

"He's in this championship just as much as Max is," he told Sky Sports. "The difference between the two of them is 15 points. It's nothing.

"It's a long way to go in this championship and we can see that Ferrari has a very fast car," he added. "They had a better car than us on this race track this weekend.

"I think through great teamwork, great work from the drivers, pit wall, the double stop we managed to beat them here.

"That's not going to be easy at the coming races," he admitted. "As a team we've always got to optimise our performance and at the back end of the championship, that's where it's going to get really exciting.

"He's been on it all weekend," he said of Perez' Monaco weekend, "it was well deserved. His pace on the in and out lap from the extreme wets onto the Inters was strong. The team worked a double stop that allowed both of our drivers to pick off a Ferrari, which was fantastic.

"He's doing a great job. Look at his performances so far, in Jeddah he had that amazing pole. The time delta between him and Max has been a lot, lot closer this year. To win this race, his third victory, what a place to get that."

Somewhat ironic however, that as Perez became them most successful Mexican driver in the history of F1, he was sporting a helmet in tribute to his late countryman, the legendary Pedro Rodriguez.

Having been present at Rodriguez' extraordinary drive in the BOAC 1000 kms at Brands Hatch in 1970, a certain editor couldn't help but smile wryly as the start of the Monaco Grand Prix was delayed due to a few sports of rain.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monaco, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 05/06/2022 3:29

"For all Horner's bluster he is effectively a weak character when push comes to shove. Pardon my repetetiveness but Mark Webber made that exact same statement some time back in his excellent book 'Aussie Grit'.. We've seen it before on numerous occasions, M<alaysia/ Azerbaijan, and that's just two of manyand IMO he hasn't changed. The Verstappens hold all the aces and onvce again, IMO, Horner will crumble rather that let them race fairly with equal machinery and opportunity throughout the season. Not all team .subterfuge is out in the open for all to see....and hear"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Spindoctor, 04/06/2022 15:54

"He has the talent and the fastest car, but Max is RBR's favourite, so I doubt he'll be allowed to win too many races..."

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3. Posted by kenji, 31/05/2022 6:31

"@ Defiant...logic, commonsense and quality of comment will always win the day ...hahaha. Feel good."

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4. Posted by Defiant, 31/05/2022 6:27

"Something weird is going on.... thats twice ive agreed with kenji "

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5. Posted by kenji, 31/05/2022 0:56

"@Tardis40...You may well be right but then again you may well be wrong! Given the same spec car, equal opportunity in strategy and implementation and I would not be so adamant. These are totally new cars and getting acquainted with the new characteristics takes time and patience plus lots of skill. I do very much feel that Perez has done a superb job and that Verstappen faces a new challenge from within. The fact remains that Red Bull will, IMO, favor Verstappen for no onther reason than they do not want him looking at other teams if he doesn't get favoured status. Had the Spanish GP not been manipulated in Verstappen's favour then the difference in WDC points would be a mere 8 points and the WCC team points identical.

"

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6. Posted by Tardis40, 30/05/2022 19:16

"Sergio can't beat Max over the course of a season. Max is a tough customer."

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7. Posted by Editor, 30/05/2022 12:23

"@ Devonlad

Thankfully I'd dried out by the time Ziggy Stardust was released in June 1972.

Despite the rain that day... and mice eating my sandwiches... it was absolutely brilliant"

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8. Posted by Devonlad, 30/05/2022 12:20

"11 years after Perez had a potentially life-threatening crash at Monaco...

Someone said yesterday that he seems to look after his tyres better than anyone else. Adding interest to the season to see Perez and Russell challenging their 'team mates' - both in qualifying and racing.

Ferrari have long cornered the market in foot transplants. There must be a deeper explanation than 'Italian temperament'?

Like the editor I too was at the 1970 BOAC 1000. On balance I would prefer the Monaco soaking to the Brands mud (which I fell in)."

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9. Posted by Roli, 30/05/2022 12:15

"Mr Horner, have you passed this view to Mr Marko ?"

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10. Posted by kenji, 30/05/2022 11:05

"So Perez is a contender this week but he wasn't last week? "

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