Christian Horner breaks silence on Sergio Perez’s Saudi GP concerns

Sergio Perez was concerned about the team orders given to him during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

At last year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Sergio Perez was the victim of a poorly timed safety car that cost him the win, having started from pole position.

The Mexican enjoyed better fortunes this year however, with Perez taking pole position on Saturday and then easily converting it into victory on Sunday.

With both of their drivers running in P1 and P2 towards end of the race, there were some concerns in the garage after both drivers radioed in an issue.

Max Verstappen was hearing a high-pitched sound from his driveshaft whilst Sergio Perez was complaining about his brake pedal becoming longer.

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With these issues in mind, Perez was ordered to target a 0.4 second lap time and was eager to know if Verstappen had been ordered to do the same, obviously suspicious that his team were allowing his teammate to catch him up.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has been quick to explain this scenario, claiming that both drivers were told to stop pushing until the issues had been resolved.

“There’s always going to be that when you’re the lead car,” he said when asked about Perez’s concerns.

“You always want to know that the tail car has hit the target first. So that’s entirely normal. I think for us as a team, we were concerned about if there was a reliability issue, how do we manage that?

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“Once we saw there was no issue that we could see in the data, it was a question of letting them get on with it, and then basically both managing the last five laps.

“The only debates about managing the pace was then the issue with the driveshaft became prevalent.

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“At that point think okay, let’s turn down both cars. But as soon as it became clear that we couldn’t see anything in the data, we released the cars again.”

With Red Bull being significantly quicker than their rivals this season, the team have the luxury of being able to target slower lap times to manage issues.

Both Perez and Verstappen were also told to slow down in Bahrain, proving that Red Bull’s reliability may be an issue for them this season.