Christian Horner facing backlash for disrespecting Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen have both won two races this season heading into the 2023 Miami Grand Prix.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has faced substantial backlash following Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with the Briton having been criticised for disrespecting Sergio Perez’s performance.

Perez won Sunday’s race at the Baku City Circuit to reduce the gap to Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship to just six points, ahead of this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.

The Mexican was sublime in Azerbaijan, with the 33-year-old having also won the first sprint race of the season on Saturday.

His win on Sunday did have an element of luck to it, though, with Checo having inherited the race lead after being able to pit under a Safety Car, something Verstappen pitted moments before whilst leading.

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As a result, Perez lost less time during his pit-stop than his team-mate, something which allowed him to overtake the reigning World Champion.

In Perez’s defence, Verstappen had no answer to the Mexican’s pace once he became the leader, similar to how the 25-year-old couldn’t find a way past in Saudi Arabia.

Despite Perez’s strong performance, Horner was quick to tell Verstappen after the race that the 33-year-old “got a little lucky”, something which fans have found “absolutely disgraceful”.

“Well done Max. Checo [Perez] got a little lucky with the safety car there, but it’s a long, long season and very good points today. Great team result, well done,” Horner said to Verstappen over the team radio.

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Given that Red Bull still claimed their third 1-2 of the season, several fans were left flabbergasted by Horner’s message, with one fan in particular having asked “how the f*** is this normal”.

“How does Christian Horner get away with saying to Max “Checo got lucky with the safety car” how the f**k is this normal,” asked @StuartsportsF1 on Twitter.

“He’s a team-mate. Absolutely disgraceful to Checo especially that he didn’t even say congrats to Checo on radio.”

READ: Ex-F1 champion says Max Verstappen’s Azerbaijan threats were ‘odd’

Other fans called for the Red Bull boss to show Perez more “respect”, given how he went on to build a comfortable advantage over Verstappen.

“‘Checo got a little lucky with the safety car’ respect your f***ing driver Christian Horner ????” wrote @princegasly.

Another fan, @macktweets_ wrote: “Christian Horner coming over the radio to Max saying that Checo got lucky with the safety car and conveniently ignoring the fact that Checo still managed to pull out a gap which he maintained despite Max’s best efforts You hate to see it.”