Christian Horner risks angering Max Verstappen’s father

Red Bull are not planning on using team orders between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner may have angered ex-Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen, after the team boss revealed that his son Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are “free” to race.

Just six points currently separate Verstappen and Perez in the Drivers’ Championship following the fourth round of the season, which Perez crucially won.

Following his win at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Perez has now won two races this season, as has Verstappen.

It’s looking likely that the title this season will be between the Red Bull duo, meaning Horner’s job becomes that much harder.

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With the Austrians currently being unstoppable, though, the Red Bull boss has had no issue in letting Verstappen and Perez race without team orders; however, Horner has stressed that orders will be used when the “team’s interest takes over”.

“Yeah, until the team’s interest [takes over],” Horner said.

“If you’re competing against a competitor, it becomes bigger than the driver’s interest. But as it is at the moment, they’re free to do it.”

Horner allowing the two drivers to race will likely frustrate Jos, who is often very critical of Red Bull when his son isn’t favoured.

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At the Monaco Grand Prix last season, Jos hit out at Red Bull for having “exerted little influence” in helping Max win the race, with the Dutch driver having lost to Perez.

On that day in Monaco, Max was also somewhat unhappy after believing that Checo had crashed on purpose in the closing seconds of Q3, to stop him from claiming pole position.

Horner does, of course, understand Jos’ frustration when things don’t go in the reigning World Champion’s favour; however, the Red Bull boss has also previously noted that the ex-F1 driver doesn’t have “all of the information”.

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“Dads and fathers are never totally objective,” Horner said.

“What wasn’t apparent was all of the information that we have during a race. If Max had pitted, then he would have come out behind I think George at the time.

“Jos is his own person and personality. He’s got opinions and that’s absolutely fine, that’s his opinion. The reality for us was obviously slightly different… it’s no issue.”