Perez is a title contender, admits Horner

31/05/2022
NEWS STORY

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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Published: 31/05/2022
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