Horner dismisses Jos Verstappen's comments


Christian Horner has dismissed Jos Verstappen's claim that Red Bull failed his son with its strategy in Monaco.

"As a father I was disappointed with the race," Verstappen's Snr posted on his son's website in the aftermath of the race which had seen him finish third behind teammate Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz.

"We all saw that it was a difficult weekend for him," he continued. "It starts with the car, which simply doesn't have the characteristics for his driving style yet. Max has far too little grip at the front axle. And especially in Monaco, with all those short corners, you need a car that turns very quickly. That was just hard.

"Red Bull achieved a good result," he admitted "but at the same time exerted little influence to help Max to the front. That he finished third, he owes to Ferrari's mistake at that second stop of Charles.

"Max, was not helped in that sense by the chosen strategy. It turned completely to Checo's favour. That was disappointing to me, and I would have liked it to be different for the championship leader.

"Perez actually won the race because of the earlier pit stop," he insisted. "The team can perhaps explain that as a gamble, but they had already seen, with for example Gasly, that the intermediates were the best option at that time. I think 10 points from Max have been thrown away here. Especially with the two retirements we've had, we need every point."

"Dads and fathers are never totally objective," said Horner when asked about the comments by Sky Sports. "What wasn't apparent was all of the information that we have during a race. If Max had pitted, then he would have come out behind I think George at the time.

"Jos is his own person and personality," he added. "He's got opinions and that's absolutely fine, that's his opinion. The reality for us was obviously slightly different, it's no issue."

Verstappen Snr's comments come at a time Perez is really establishing himself within the team, his Monaco victory coming days after being called on to yield to his teammate in Spain, a call the Mexican obeyed whilst labelling it "unfair".

Just 15 points down on his teammate, who has suffered two DNFs this season, Perez is looking a serious contender for the title, assuming Red Bull allows him.

"The Number 1 driver is the driver that's ahead, it's as simple as that," said Horner. "That's why Checo got the call on the pit stop, Max wouldn't even have had track position for example on that lap.

"Our fight isn't between the two drivers," he insisted, "we've got a very competitive Ferrari with two fast drivers in it. Collectively as a team, we've got to take the fight and take the challenge to Ferrari, who are looking very quick this year."

Earlier, at the official press conference when asked if the contract signed since Monaco implies preference to Verstappen, Perez said: "We didn't discuss that. There's nothing in my contract that says that I need to finish second or something like that. It was not a topic at all."

Asked about his chances of becoming the first Mexican to win the title he replied: "I feel like I've got a good opportunity. Obviously the season is still very young, so anything can happen from now."

Indeed, the Mexican admits that having agreed the new contract gives him added impetus.

"I feel like as a driver you want certainty," he said, "you want to get that stress out of the way... so the earlier the better.

"It takes so much energy and so much focus to be 100 percent weekend by weekend, so you don't need that thinking. So it was good that we agreed so early with the contract."

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Published: 11/06/2022
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