Red Bull is set to clash with Max Verstappen’s father Jos as they decide to not prioritise the reigning champion in this year’s title fight. The team have confirmed Verstappen will not be given preferential treatment over team-mate Sergio Perez at this stage of the season after the Mexican won the Monaco Grand Prix.
It could put the team on a collision course with Verstappen’s family who have demanded the Dutchman is favoured in his bid to beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to the crown this season. However, team principal Christian Horner appeared to swipe back at the suggestion, claiming the team was not ‘Max Verstappen Racing’.
He told Bloomberg: “We are not talking about Sergio Perez Racing or Max Verstappen Racing here. It’s about Red Bull Racing. The drivers work for the team and bear this responsibility. It is important that they realise that the ambitions of the team are greater than their own.”
Red Bull chief Helmut Marko backed up Horner’s assessment while speaking to Sport1, claiming Perez was not out of the hunt just yet.
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Marko explained: “He is only 15 points behind and is therefore fully in the world championship business.” Perez looked stronger than Verstappen throughout the Monaco Grand Prix weekend and continued his good form to secure his third career win and second in Red Bull colours.
It came just a week after Perez was asked to move aside for Verstappen at the Spanish Grand Prix. However, former Bennetton star and Max’s father, Jos, claims he was ‘disappointed’ at the team’s decisions to favour Perez in Monaco.
He wanted things to be ‘different for the championship leader’ as Ferrari has the ‘better car’ in the title fight. Jos Verstappen said: “Red Bull achieved a good result, but at the same time exerted little influence to help Max to the front. That he finished third, he owes to Ferrari’s mistake at that second stop of Charles Leclerc.
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“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.”
He added: “I would have liked them to go for Max, but of course I am not entirely objective. I think ten points from Max have been thrown away here.
“Especially with the two retirements we’ve had, we need every point. Don’t forget that Ferrari currently has a better car, especially in qualifying. Max also had bad luck in qualifying, because in his last run he was significantly faster and on his way to second place, until the crash of Pérez. Then everything would have been different.”