Christian Horner doesn’t rule out squad orders for Sergio Perez
Red Bull boss Christian Horner stressed on Friday that the teams’ controls are part of Formula 1 and refused to rule out telling Mexican Sergio Perez to give up a home win this weekend.
No Mexican driver has ever won a grand prize at home, but Perez has a winning car and has been on the podium in his last two races.
He is not in contention for the title, however, while his teammate Max Verstappen leads the standings with a 12-point lead over seven-time Mercedes world champion Lewis Hamilton and five races remaining.
Verstappen has eight wins this year against Perez’s.
When asked if he would tell Perez to let Verstappen pass if the Mexican leads with the Dutch rider in second, Horner said it was a tough decision.
“Our main goal is to win both championships and both drivers know the task at hand to get there,” he told reporters.
“You can’t rule him out (team orders), you can’t rule him out. Our preference would be, if Checo was in that position, that he wins his home race. bigger result for a home driver.
“But as a team we have to keep an eye on these two championships and know what is at stake and this race, like any other, has the same number of points attributable to it and therefore we treat it like n ‘ any other race. “
Perez has played a supporting role for Verstappen this season, stepping aside if necessary, but it would be a big demand with a huge crowd expecting to cheer on a home hero whose face is featured on billboards in the capital.
Mercedes have won the last seven drivers ‘and constructors’ championships and are still 23 points ahead of Red Bull in the latter competition.
“Team driving is part of the sport being a team sport,” Horner continued.
“The drivers are part of the team, their contract is with the team, and the constructors’ championship… that’s where the money goes.
“We operate as a team and that is why team orders are sometimes necessary for the best interests of the sport. I have no doubt that you will see more and more of them at the end of this championship over the remaining five races, ” he said.
Horner also rejected a suggestion from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff that the title could be decided by a collision between the two contenders, as in the past between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
“I was disappointed to read the comments,” he said. “We want a really fair fight by the end of the championship. I think any driver would want to win the championship on the track.
“No one wants to see a championship decided in a gravel pit.”