‘He’s in this league as much as Max,’ says Horner after Perez battles Monaco win
After Sergio Perez claimed his maiden victory in Monaco, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner backed the Mexican’s titles and praised his winner.
Perez, who was asked to step aside for Max Verstappen in Spain, qualified third in Monaco and ended up jumping the front row Ferraris in the pit stops, keeping his lead on the late restart of the safety car even as his medium tires began to grain. Now it’s fair six points behind Charles Leclerc and 15 behind Verstappen.
“He’s in this championship just as much as Max,” Horner said Sunday. “The difference between the two is around 15 points now – it’s nothing – but it’s a long way to go in this championship and we can see that Ferrari has a very fast car. They had a better car than us on this circuit this weekend.
“I think thanks to great teamwork, great driver work, pit wall, pit stops and double pit stops, we managed to beat them here and it won’t be easy in the races. next races. So as a team we always have to optimize our performance and then, at the end of the championship, that’s when it’s going to get really exciting.
Monaco Grand Prix 2022: Pérez seals victory ahead of Sainz and Verstappen in a race in the rain in Monaco
Horner said Perez accelerated things with a string of great performances in 2022. After all, the 32-year-old had 84 points after seven rounds in 2021 – and has 110 points after seven rounds in 2022.
“He’s doing a great job,” added Horner. “I mean, look at his performance so far. Jeddah, it had this amazing pole; the time difference between him and Max has been much, much closer this year. I mean, winning this race, his third win, what a place to get it.
Horner also gave insight into the problems Verstappen faced at Monaco. The Dutch rider was overqualified by Perez in Monaco but still left the Principality smiling after finishing ahead of poleman Charles Leclerc.
“It’s frustrating for him not to have the car in the window he wanted,” Horner said of the defending champion. “That last round [in qualifying] would have been vital because it could have put him first, and we all know qualifying is so, so vital here.
“But he is happy with this result. He beat Charles, he is on the podium, he is happy for his teammate, so to leave with the builders period, that [lead has] grown too, it’s a good result for us.
Red Bull travel to Baku top of both championships, with Perez picking up his first win for the team there back in 2021 – while Verstappen lost his mind in a shock abandonment…
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