Horner says Max Verstappen’s father is ‘never totally objective’ as he responds to Monaco criticism

Sergio Perez won the Monaco Grand Prix a fortnight ago ahead of Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner disagrees with Jos Verstappen’s assessment that the team should have done more to help his son, Max, win the Monaco Grand Prix.

Max finished third ahead of Charles Leclerc after Red Bull strategist Hannah Schmitz played a blinder against the Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, which put Perez into the lead ahead of the Spaniard.

A series of errors from the Scuderia sent Leclerc down to fourth behind the reigning world champion, but he ended the race behind Sainz.

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Having initially mirrored his team-mate’s strategy, the 24-year-old pitted earlier than Perez for Slicks, so Jos opined after the race that more could have been done to clear Sainz’s Ferrari.

“Red Bull achieved a good result, but at the same time exerted little influence to help Max to the front,” he wrote in his column on Verstappen.com.

“That he finished third, he owes to Ferrari’s mistake at that second stop of Charles Leclerc.

“The championship leader, Max, was not helped in that sense by the chosen strategy. It turned completely to Checo’s favour. 

“That was disappointing to me, and I would have liked it to be different for the championship leader.”

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Horner has refuted this, saying that the Milton Keynes-side did all they could to get the best possible result for both drivers, although he appreciates that it is not always easy for slightly subjective parents to see that.

“I think dads and fathers are never totally objective,” he told Sky Sports in Baku.

“I don’t know what you’re like as a racing dad [turning to Damon Hill] but what wasn’t apparent to obviously Jos, was all the information that we have during a race.

“Of course if we had pitted him, he would have come out behind I think George [Russell] at the time.”

While the 48-year-old does not see eye-to-eye with the two-time podium finisher on the matter, he affirms that Jos is allowed to have an opinion.

“I think Jos is his own person isn’t he?” added Horner. 

READ: FIA criticised for changing rule as Red Bull favouritism claim resurfaces

“It’s his own personality so he’s obviously you know, got opinions I think and that’s absolutely fine, that’s his opinion. 

“The reality for us was obviously slightly different so it’s no issue.”

Horner also confirmed that there is no designated lead driver at the team, and it is up to Verstappen and Perez to decide that on track.

“The number one driver is the driver that’s ahead, it’s as simple as that,” he explained. 

“That’s why Checo got the call on the pitstop, Max wouldn’t even have track position for example, with that on that lap.

“But our fight isn’t between the two drivers, we’ve got a very, very competitive Ferrari with two fast drivers in it. 

“The team have worked tremendously well, you saw that just one week earlier in Barcelona, and collectively as a team, we’ve got to take the fight and then take the challenge to Ferrari, who are looking very quick this year.”

Perez topped FP1 in Baku on Friday, with Leclerc going fastest in the second session later in the afternoon.