(L to R): Christian Horner, Red Bull Team Principal; Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Monaco, 2022

Perez and Verstappen have same chance to win title – Horner

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In the round-up: Christian Horner believes Sergio Perez’s Monaco Grand Prix win “is not a one-off” for the Red Bull driver.

In brief

Perez “in the form of his career” with Monaco win

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has praised Sergio Perez for his Monaco win.

“Checo’s in the form of his career is he’s doing a great job and it’s not a one off. I mean, we saw his pole position in Jeddah and he’s really hitting a rich vein of form so that that’s fantastic for us.”

Perez had to let Verstappen past twice during the previous race in Spain. However Horner said both will have the same opportunity to win the championship.

“It doesn’t matter to us which of the two is the world champion,” he said. “Of course the constructors is enormously important, but whether it’s Max or Checo they’re both Red Bull drivers, they’ve both got the same chance.”

Ricciardo helmet message “not directed at anyone”

Daniel Ricciardo gave his explanation for the appearance of the initials ‘FEA’ on his helmet during the Monaco Grand Prix, which was widely interpreted as standing for “fuck ’em all”.

“‘FEA’ is ‘For Ever After’,” said Ricciardo. “It’s a love story. I put it on my helmet in in 2018 as well.

“You have some things and I like to use acronyms just to pump me up. It’s honestly not directed at anyone. It’s just something that I’ve said for a few years and it just kind of gets me in my happy place.

“As well as a driver, you like you put the helmet on and that’s also very significant of like flipping the switch. So it’s one of the last things I’ll see when I put the helmet on, then it just kind of reminds me to to kind of channel in and get into the zone.”

Drugovich bemused by “weird” pit incident

Formula 2 championship leader Felipe Drugovich was bemused to find the pit exit blocked during yesterday race by marshals pulling Amaury Cordeel’s stranded car into it. Drugovich’s pursuers were forced to stop at the end of the pit lane on their out-lap after pitting during a Safety Car period prompted by Cordeel’s retirement.

“It looked quite weird,” Drugovich said. “I didn’t know they could do that, but it is what it is. They at least they they put some yellow flags so I could see that properly and wasn’t an issue.”

Drugovich went on to win the race despite the delay. “I was just worried some of the guys were on track, so we would have lost the position. But apparently everyone just boxed under Safety Car so it was fine for us.”

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Comment of the day

After Carlos Sainz switched straight from full wets to slicks, Tifoso1989 says he deserves credit for making the call:

It’s not the first time that Carlos Sainz has questioned the strategy made by his pit wall. He did the exact same thing last in Hungary if I’m not wrong. He was running strongly with good pace and no tyre degradation and the team told him to pit. He opted to stay out and extend his stint which proved to be the right thing to do. The one-stop strategy of full wet to slick was the best strategy today. Though Ferrari pit panicked and it was badly executed as a result.

The thing is Perez pitted for inters because Gasly who have had the luxury to gamble on them because he has nothing to lose has already gave an indication how fast he can go. He overtook Ricciardo in the swimming pool with brilliant traction. Ferrari did have two options; commit to a one-stop strategy as suggested by both drivers and switch only for slicks or just follow the trend and switch to inters. The risk was Sainz who didn’t have enough margin to the Red Bulls could have his race compromised.

The thing is Leclerc with 5s advantage before the pit stops could have made both strategy work if Ferrari have committed to one of those options. Instead, they didn’t commit to anything, panicked and executed both stops badly. He could have covered Perez a lap after he stopped but they were napping and when it was too late they switched him on inters. Unbelievable!

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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38 comments on “Perez and Verstappen have same chance to win title – Horner”

  1. “Perez had to let Verstappen past twice during the previous race in Spain. However, Horner said both will have the same opportunity to win the championship.”

    Mercedes used team orders in the 2016 Monaco GP since Rosberg was off the pace similar to Checo in Spain and he still went on to win the championship.

    1. Rosberg was asked to move aside because they could lose that race if he didn’t. Whereas Perez wasn’t off the pace to begin with and Red Bull had the win completely secured by that point, so there’s absolutely nothing in common, apart from one driver letting the other pass.

      1. There were 20 laps left mate. In the previous race, we had a safety car that bunched up the field in the last 10? or so.

        Russel was 6 seconds? behind. Who in the world would ask their 1.5-sec driver to hold position instead of building a healthy gap just in case of a pitstop or anything?

        Besides he would probably pass with some juggling around the corners, even if DRS was dead. With Checo having with tires he had to do 28 laps on.

        What is so hard to understand?

        1. Indeed, realistically speaking verstappen was always gonna get past and if by chance there was a repeat of baku 2018 it could’ve single handedly cost red bull the championship.

        2. They held Perez when he was the one behind with better tyres. So?

          What i mean is : nobody is falling for what Horner is saying here. Verstappen is their guy, Perez is just someone they got because they burned everyone they had. He’s obviouly not getting a shot and there’s nothing wrong with that.

          1. They didn’t “hold him up” that’s what Perez thought at the time and the media from a certain country campaigned ever since.

            They already explained it was the lottery DRS issue. Sort of “now it’s gonna work…no no now…errr give it one more lap” and he has been held up a mighty 3 laps. Of course, Perez who has no idea is going to complain.

            Of course, RedBull prefers Max. He is always getting the updates either at the same time or a race earlier than Perez. But he still has a shot.

          2. That stuff cost Perez far more than 3 seconds @cobray. To make his strategy work somewhat he would have needed to get ahead and build a gap. Which he couldn’t do because Red Bull balked from asking Verstappen to give Perez a chance.

            Off course at that moment they did not yet know the DRS would be as big of an issue, so it made sense what they did. Maybe they could have asked Max to drop behind Perez then, but I am not sure Max would have even listened with having such a hard job and being frustrated with the DRS at that time.

            But it DID cost Perez a lot of time. And it put him in the situation later in the race where Verstappen was clearly faster and there it really was a no brainer to ask him to let Verstappen past, since it would have only been another lap for him to get by anyway but especially with the DRS not being stable, it might have cost both time then.

    2. Actually, Perez would be 1 point behind Max if he did not sacrifice his position in Barcelona.

  2. Well, you’re free believe in Horner’s convenient BS.

    I bet Perez isn’t having any of it either lol.

    1. Mr Squiggle
      30th May 2022, 3:48

      I agree. Horner up to his old tricks. RB promise equal car, equal engines etc but they tilt the in-race strategy calls to their preferred driver. Its what they did to Webber, Ricciardo etc.

      i’m surprised the F1 media allow him to get away with it

      1. Ricciardo came to red bull before verstappen, why would they disadvantage him?

        1. Because RB were hellbent on having the youngest ever F1 WDC.

          1. @kyles, Correct, Red Bull’s target market is the teenybopper, Verstappen will be replaced as soon as a younger, equally competitive driver arrives.

        2. Webber got to Red Bull before Vettel. Your point?

          Remember multi 21 and Horner saying Vettel would face the consequences? Nothing has ever happened lol

    2. Only in a world where passing is impossible and Perez has the buffer of a Ferrari every race will he win the championship. He only won cos its impossible for him to let Verstappen by without letting Sainz in the lead too. Otherwise a slam dunk switcheroo.

      1. Yup. The only way for Perez to do it is if he keeps ahead and with a Ferrari (or any other car) in between them. Otherwise Red Bull will naturally give most consideration to helping Verstappen win it

    3. Haha, so true. A clear lie. And all team bosses do it. Must be something they agreed upon with Liberty to keep up the thought of mire competition or something. Anyone who has watched F1 more than five years knows top teams run a nr1 and nr2 strategy except when they are in transition, usually a generation thing, from the old to the new: Charles & Vettel, George & Lewis. Lewis & Alonso and so on.

  3. Well, you’re free believe in Horner’s convenient BS.

    I bet Perez isn’t having any of it either lol.

  4. I hope so.
    Perez is in the best form of his career and now is the time.
    The fact is in Spain Verstappen’s had the upgrades and Checo’s didn’t, still Perez had a very good pace in Spain, had both cars being equal doubt Verstappen would have had it so easy, if you don’t think so, see Exhibit A – Monaco

  5. Pérez about to walk into the conference room for the salary negotiations just staring everyone down.

    1. Perez commented to Horner “i probably shouldn’t have signed so early” just before walking up the stairs to the podium.

      That suggest the conference room is available and negotiations are done already and Perez is in the RB next year

  6. If I remember correctly, Ferrari did pit Leclerc the lap after Perez though? It was Perez’s incredible outlap that allowed him to undercut the massive gap he had to Leclerc.

    Ferrari’s error was if they decided to go to inters first then slicks, they should’ve pitted Leclerc as soon as a gap opened up in the track. I suspect they weren’t sure and kept running the status quo if nothing pressured them to do otherwise. So they had to react to Perez and underestimated the undercut.

    They really should invest in a better prediction software which could predict what their rivals could do. Once a gap opened up, a good software should’ve noted to them that Perez could pit and go x seconds faster and risked undercutting them. A good software should’ve shouted *YOU WILL LOSE TIME DOUBLE STACKING* 😂

    1. Agree. But I’d say Ferrari underestimated the undercut just as much as RBR guessed its power. I mean, 3rd place PER targeting 1st place in just 1 move?! I think it’s the first time someone thinks so bold. PER’s target at that moment more than sure was SAI, not LEC. Then, if RBR really knew what they were doing I think that they would have tried to deliver that killer-strategy to VER who was just 2sec behind PER, and not to PER. Also, on TV they said that the lap times of those few who changed to Inters before PER weren’t faster. So, my opinion, given that track position is key in Monaco, it was a mix of inspired move by PER and much faster lap times compared to anyone (I remember him saying it’s time for Inters, while SAI said they can wait to go directly to Dry) and some indecision+bad luck for Ferrari. Ferrari could have tried to pit first, but there’s always the question of giving up the position for better tyres at Monaco.

    2. Wasn’t it another 2 laps though before they pitted Leclerc?

      1. It was two laps indeed.
        And the biggest gain (undercut) was made on the 2nd lap when the tyres were in their working range.
        But also Perez’s stop was 1.3s faster.

  7. I really hope Dan Ric is spending as much time in the simulator as he is on helmet designs.
    There should only be one thing on his mind at the moment and that’s getting pace out of the car.

    1. Actually I think he has managed to get pace out of the car already, now he needs to put it back in! :)

      1. Ahah, that’s a good joke!

    2. The way things are going the only thing on his mind is which team he can go to for 2023!

  8. Such a hypocrite

  9. Yes, as long as he stays close in the points. However, he certainly is ‘in the form of his career.’

    I never noticed the FEA acronym.
    Neither last weekend nor four years ago, but a nice message or intention.

    Keith’s tweet is valid as overtaking isn’t everything in the end.
    Close battling is equally important, so two or more drivers following each other closely for several laps always features at least some excitement as theoretically anything can happen.

    The COTD is spot-on. I agree thoroughly.

  10. As the old saying goes, you are only as good as your last race. The current form of Perez reminds me a bit of Coulthard in the 2000 season: a second driver that finds a bit more extra boost and challenges the number one driver of the team. Let’s see if Perez can keep this up for the next few races at least and mount a title challenge — would be nice to have a proper four-way fight!

    1. Exactly! And Verstappen reminds me of Mika in 2000, spectacular yes, but there were some races where he was so-so and Coulthard was better (coincidentally Monaco was one of them and again Ferrari threw away a race win courtesy of broken suspension(?) for Schumacher).

      Now the question is whether Leclerc is similar to Schumacher that season… Ferrari at the moment are definitely not lol

      1. Yes, was a suspension in monaco 2000, that still hurts, I think schumacher was on the way for a grand chelem, he even came out ahead of 2nd placed coulthard despite stopping before him at some point.

        And yes, I think leclerc and verstappen are successors of schumacher, they’re a very strong field nowadays.

      2. There’s a very strong field*

  11. Based on the facts that are recorded and matter (= points table), can’t contradict him. Realistically though, PER has little chances in front of VER on his own, but given that the team gives preferential treatment to VER, PER real chances are just on paper.

    Regarding the COTD… I usually agree with Tifoso1989, not this time.
    No, the fact that PER did 1 more pit-stop than SAI in just 6 laps, yet managed to jump him and LEC too, proves that Wet-Dry wasn’t the best strategy. But the window for Inters wasn’t big (5-10laps at best) and PER pitted for Inters in like the best moment and the tyres worked perfectly for him. Yes, LEC lost 2-3sec by pitting together with SAI, but VER mirrored his strategy and after the 1st pit-stop LEC had a bigger advantage than 2-3sec, yet VER managed to jump LEC by pitting for Hards 1 lap later than LEC. So, in my opinion, LEC pitted somehow too late for Inters and a little too early for Dry and this was a mistake from both sides, driver+team.
    No, there’s no real proof RBR came up with that killer strategy based on what was GAS doing and get PER in the lead (especially since PER was only 3rd). VER is their main driver and more than sure they just wanted to get VER ahead of PER. If RBR had any idea that pitting for Inters on lap 16 will work so great, be sure VER would have been the one pitting and not PER.

  12. Why COTD? Sainz’s questioning of the strategy cost Ferrari the win.
    He questioned the strategy because as the 2nd car on the road he does not benefit from, what the pit wall believes to be, optimal strategy. Sainz was only thinking how he could leapfrog Leclerc. Ferrari should have covered perez with sainz and max with leclerc, which strategy gave them the win was irrelevant but the strategy was pretty obvious. There was a gap and regardless of whether or not going for inters was ultimately going to be quickest, this strategy was always going to force your opponents hand. Not the first time in the last monaco gps that ferrari misjudges traffic. Complete illustration of ferrari’s incompetent strategists. Ferrari demoted Rueda but they promoted another Spaniard, I don’t know his name, that is as good as Rueda… When

  13. Thank you for the COTD !

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