Christian Horner admits Red Bull concern after 2022 Brazil GP

Red Bull have supposedly dealt with the incident between Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez behind closed doors.

Given how dominant they’ve been in 2022, it was a real wake-up call for Red Bull and team principal Christian Horner to see the side struggle to the extent of which they did at the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend, after the Austrians claimed sixth and seventh.

With only one race remaining, perhaps the Constructors’ Champions won’t be too fazed by their struggles at Interlagos; however, the team has definitely taken notice of the return of Mercedes.

Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen had no answer to the pace of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in Brazil, with Mercedes claiming their first one-two since the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Horner revealed after the race that the side hadn’t felt as “disappointed” as they were all season, with the drivers having seemingly just struggled for outright pace.

READ: Toto Wolff ‘struggles to comment’ on crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton

“We haven’t often left a Grand Prix weekend this season feeling disappointed,” Horner said in the team’s official press release.

“Coming away from Brazil with P6 and P7 is far from the standards we have set for ourselves this season. The main issue for us was our pace.“

Mercedes’ resurgence has somewhat been the story of the second half of the season, given that the Silver Arrows were nowhere at the start of the year.

Red Bull will certainly be aware of the Germans heading into 2023, even if the Brackley-based team are off the pace at Abu Dhabi this weekend.

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Horner wants his side to “understand” why they lacked pace in Brazil, with the Austrians full focus being on “firing on all cylinders” at the season finale this weekend.

“George drove very well all weekend and the various updates Mercedes have been bringing throughout the year has seen them get quicker and quicker,” added Horner.

“We need to understand why we gave away performance this weekend and will come out firing on all cylinders in Abu Dhabi.”

Red Bull’s weekend was, of course, overshadowed by Verstappen’s defiance of team orders on the final lap of the race.

After being initially allowed to overtake Pérez, the Dutchman was told to let Checo take the position back on the final lap due to having made no further progress.

The double World Champion refused to give up the position and ended the race ahead of Pérez, with the driver having shown “who he really is”.

READ: Sergio Perez calls rivals ‘bad losers’ for Max Verstappen excuse

Horner explained that the issue was dealt with “internally” and that Verstappen is “supportive” of helping his team-mate claim second in the Drivers’ Championship, with Red Bull having never claimed a one-two.

“Regarding Max and Checo, we have discussed the matter internally and we go into Abu Dhabi as a Team to do the very best that we can to help Checo achieve second place in the Championship,” Horner stated.

“Max is supportive of that. Ultimately, we work as a Team and race as a Team. It is that ethos that has seen us gain such great success this season and will continue to drive us forward.”