Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has rubbished claims made by Max Verstappen’s dad that the team “exerted little influence” in helping his son as the world championship leader, and insists there will be no favouritism over Sergio Perez.
Perez has competed closer with Verstappen this season after winning his first race of the campaign in Monaco on May 29, and Jos Verstappen took to Max’s official website to vent his frustration against Red Bull’s tactics.
He 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. 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.
Formula 1
Deal agreed to keep Dutch GP on F1 calendar to 2025
YESTERDAY AT 09:04
“Pérez actually won the race because of the earlier pit stop. The team can perhaps explain that as a gamble, but they had already seen, with for example Gasly, that the intermediates were the best option at that time.
“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.”
However, Horner has now issued his response to the claim and reiterated there was “no issue” with what happened in Monaco.
"Dads and fathers are never totally objective," Horner told Sky Sports at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. "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 (Russell) 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."
Perez is now only 15 points adrift of Verstappen in the Drivers’ Standings, and has now become a serious contender to win the title.
Horner explained that Red Bull will take a meritocratic approach to each race, and stressed that should Perez out-qualify his team-mate, then he will get the first call on strategy.
"The No. 1 driver is the driver that's ahead, it's as simple as that," Horner added. "That's why Checo got the call on the pit stop, Max wouldn't even have had track position for example on that lap.

'Fantastic news for team and driver' - Horner on Verstappen signing new Red Bull deal

"But, our fight isn't between the two drivers, we've got a very competitive Ferrari with two fast drivers in it.
"Collectively as a team, we've got to take the fight and take the challenge to Ferrari, who are looking very quick this year."
Formula 1
Horner says he is committed to Red Bull as Ferrari seek new team principal
06/12/2022 AT 10:40
Formula 1
Formula 1 cancels 2023 Chinese Grand Prix
02/12/2022 AT 12:21