Christian Horner comments on ‘relationship’ between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez

Max Verstappen sits 15 points ahead of Sergio Perez in the Drivers' Championship after three rounds.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has quashed any rumours that Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez don’t get on, with the Briton having revealed that the pair have a “good relationship”.

There have been several suggestions already this season that Red Bull have had to hold behind-the-scenes talks with their two drivers, after Perez was somewhat disgruntled following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Whilst Perez won in Jeddah, Verstappen claimed the fastest lap on the final lap, something the Mexican didn’t think he was allowed to do due to team orders.

It was the first time that their relationship had looked on edge since last season’s Brazilian Grand Prix, where talks were held after Verstappen defied team orders.

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With the pair both being in title contention this season, the likelihood is that their relationship will be tested; however, as things stand, Horner insists the duo are “fine”.

“They are two competitive drivers, the relationship is fine, there is a good respect between the two of them,” Horner said.

“They both know the responsibility they have driving for the team.

“There’s expectations that come with that, but they’re in a good place. They’ve been a very effective pairing for us, and I expect that to continue.”

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Even if Verstappen’s and Perez’s relationship does stay positive, Red Bull still have another issue to deal with this season, their budget cap penalty.

After breaching the 2021 cost cap, Red Bull were fined $7 million and awarded a 10-percent reduction in permitted aerodynamic research, meaning they’ve received less time in the wind tunnel for the vast majority of this season.

As a result, it’s expected that Red Bull will be caught in the latter stages of the season, with Horner openly admitting that improving the RB19 this year “will be very tough”.

“I think it will be very tough for us to develop this car, because when you look at the amount of percentage time less we have compared to some of our rivals, it’s significant,” said Horner.

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“But it is what it is. We just have to do the best we can with what we’ve got, be efficient, effective, and selective in what we choose to develop, and how we apportion our time.

“It’s been a total cultural change over the last couple of years. It’s a new challenge in Formula 1, how you apply your resources. It used to be a sprint in terms of developing a car as quickly as you could with whatever budget you can rustle up.

“Now it’s a question of how and where do you apply your resources, and of course there are so many variables like crash damage, accident damage in there that can have a massive effect on your potential to develop. It’s going to be interesting to see how it pans out this year.”