Christian Horner says Sergio Perez is in the F1 title mix as much as Max Verstappen

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are in the title fight after the Mexican won in Monaco.

Perez had been in great form throughout the race weekend, regularly the lead Red Bull driver – a performance level he maintained all the way until the end to take the chequered flag and win the Monaco Grand Prix.

Verstappen claimed P3, which meant although the Dutchman increased his lead over Charles Leclerc in the Drivers’ Championship, Perez is now only 15 points adrift of his team-mate.

Horner believes he has a pair of Red Bulls in the conversation.

“An amazing day for us, an amazing day for Checo,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“He’s been on it all weekend, so well deserved. His pace on the in-lap and out-lap from the extreme [wet tyres] onto the inters, the teamwork, the double stop in and out, both of our drivers to pick off a Ferrari 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 closer this year and to win this race, his third victory…what a place to get that.

“He’s in this championship just as much as Max is. The difference between the two of them is 15 points now, it’s nothing, so it’s a long way to go in this championship.”

On it all weekend 💪 Take a bow @SChecoPerez 🏆 #MonacoGP 🇲🇨 pic.twitter.com/q7UOZGmPKK

— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) May 29, 2022

Horner acknowledged teamwork and strategy was key to defeating Ferrari in Monaco, the F1-75 proving a “better car” than the RB18 in Monaco.

If Red Bull are to remain in the title fight right through to the business end of the season, Horner says his team must keep up these high standards.

“We can see Ferrari have a very fast car, a better car than us on this circuit this weekend,” said Horner.

“I think through great teamwork, great work from the drivers and the pit wall and the pit-stops and double stops, we managed to beat them here and that won’t be easy at the coming races.

“As a team, we always have to optimise our performance and then, at the back end of the championship, that’s when it will get really exciting.”

 

It was an unusual weekend for Verstappen, the Dutchman seemingly never fully comfortable in the RB18 around the streets of Monte Carlo.

Horner felt Verstappen’s loss of his final Q3 lap was rather damaging, Perez and Carlos Sainz having crashed and brought Q3 to an early end.

“It’s been frustrating for him that he hasn’t quite had the car in the window,” said Horner.

“That last lap yesterday would have been vital because that could have put him on the front row, and we all know qualifying is so vital here.

“But he’s happy with that result. He’s beaten Charles, he’s on the podium, he’s pleased for his team-mate, so to come away with Constructors’ points, that’s grown as well…that’s a good result for us.”

 

 

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