Red Bull’s focus on constructors’ title and second place for Perez – Horner

2022 F1 season

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that the team’s focus is now on securing the constructors’ championship and second place in the drivers’ championship for Sergio Perez.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen secured his second consecutive world championship title last weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix. Having inherited second place in the rain-shortened race after a post-race penalty to Charles Leclerc, Perez currently sits second in the championship, just a single point ahead of the Ferrari driver.

Horner says that now the driver’s title has been won by Verstappen, the team will concentrate on beating Ferrari and Leclerc to both the constructors’ championship and second place in the drivers’ championship.

“[Verstappen]’s driving incredibly well, the team’s working at an exceptionally high level,” said Horner.

“The strength and depth that we have throughout the organisation is immense, and we’re just very proud of him, the team and obviously we’ll enjoy the moment. But focus quickly turns to the constructors’ side of the side of the tables and Checo securing that second place in the championship.

“With Checo finishing second as well, fantastic for him and his championship. For the constructors’, it’s big points as well, so absolutely delighted with the outcome.”

Perez had chased down Leclerc over the final laps of the race at Suzuka before the Ferrari driver made mistake into the final chicane on what would end up being the final lap. Leclerc missed the corner and then blocked off Perez on the run to the line, with the stewards quickly handing Leclerc a five-second time penalty after the chequered flag which promoted Perez up to second place and ensured that Leclerc was now mathematically out of contention for the championship.

“We felt we were going to be one point short, but in the end, Checo’s move on Charles nailed Max the championship,” said Horner. “So you could see his surprise, the team’s surprise. But what a wonderful surprise.”

Horner believes that winning his first world championship against Lewis Hamilton last season enabled Verstappen to race without pressure in 2022 and perform at an even higher level – something he believes was also true for Sebastian Vettel after he won his first world championship with Red Bull in 2010.

“I think last year was such a heavyweight bout between two titans, and I think having achieved that world championship last year – it happened with Sebastian and it’s happened again with Max – it’s just taken that pressure off his shoulders of expectation and he’s just gone out and smashed it out of the park this year,” Horner explained.

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Will Wood
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28 comments on “Red Bull’s focus on constructors’ title and second place for Perez – Horner”

  1. Shocking

    1. Constantijn Blondel
      16th October 2022, 17:13

      That’s what I thought … Must be cucumber time now the WDC has been decided ;)

      1. I wonder if Sir Verstappen will drive helpng Checo and thus obey team orders. Or is he going to do what he always wants to do, win and withould important points from perez

  2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    16th October 2022, 13:08

    With Ferrari having raised the white flag, no strong competition in the races and a car with the highest top speed the result is as expected.

    Spin it anyway you like this is exactly the same as Mercedes were doing.

    1. Are you saying RedBull were turning their engines down so Ferrari would out-qualify them most of the year?

  3. If only they were that focused on sticking to the cost cap.

    They went over budget in 2021 and I’d be amazed if they didn’t in 2022, but I guess we’ll find that out next year.

    1. Going over the 2021 budget would have had an affect on this year as well, seeing as that budget included developing the 2022 car.

      1. Craig,
        There were also lots of restrictions on car development imposed by the FIA due to Covid 19 and teams were awarded development tokens to spend on the 2021 car which was basically the 2020 car + 2 development tokens and a new PU. A big chunk of the 2021 budget was allocated to the 2022 car development, something that was basically done by all the teams.

        Mercedes for example stopped developing their car after the Silverstone, RBR continued to bring minor upgrades here and there but nothing significant was brought. Another thing is that Horner kept reminding the entire world in every possible occasion how late RBR are with regard to the 2022 car project and the Aston Martin RBR style sidepods that Aston successfully argued with the FIA that they had the design – that was probably leaked by one of RBR engineers who joined Aston – in their wind tunnels already in September 2021.

        All this, suggests that RBR have overspent developing their 2022 car and the advantage that they have gained will cascade to all their cars till the next big rule change in 2026.

        1. Incredible amount of assumptions here within a clear agenda

          1. Says the one that doesn’t want Red Bull penalised for anything ever. If Hamilton had win last year’s championship and it was found out Mercedes overspent last year, how would you react to that VER fanboy?

          2. Clear agenda was in the deliberate overspend.

            “Red Bull budget cap breach ‘constitutes cheating’ – McLaren boss Zak Brown”.

  4. Another $10m and it’s in the bag!

  5. So Checo will win at Mexico for sure. I hope he wins it on merit and not because Max waves him over.

  6. If Verstappen is in the lead with Perez behind, I expect him to go for the record wins in one season, rather than give those extra points to Perez.

    They’ll probably use the excuse that he needs to create a buffer to offset any possible budget cap breach penalty.

    1. If Verstappen is in the lead and Perez is behind him then Perez is extending his lead from those behind him in the WDC, so I don’t think there would be much need for team orders in the first place.

      I don’t know if Verstappen cares about that particular record, he doesn’t strike me as one to do so, but I do know he wants to win every race regardless, so yeah, team orders in this scenario seem unlikely.

      1. And doesn’t make a lot of sense either, a 2nd place in the driver’s championship is already not special, especially when you haven’t been fighting for the title; a 2nd place got through team orders is worthless, especially when you have the overall best car of the year.

        1. Checo winning in Austin and Mexico is huge in terms of sponsorship and marketing.

    2. Why would he need an excuse for doing what a driver is supposed to do, win races?

  7. Can’t wait to see how the stewards keep the remainder of the season interesting. Expect to see at least 2 head scratching rulings per race.

  8. Standard procedure with an early WDC winner…

    What’s going to be news is how they (FIA) deal with the 2021 financials…

    1. @icarby as an aside, it doesn’t seem to have been commented on elsewhere, but according to Companies House, the submission of the financial accounts for Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Technologies are listed as “overdue”.

  9. So Verstappen will be stuck in Perezes car?

    I can totally see now Perez dominating leclerc.. Verstappen giving him tow in quali, suboptimal strategy in the race…

    Giving way when they are close etc..

    Verstappen, routhless team player, stopping at nothing, except for his teammate.

  10. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    17th October 2022, 9:04

    Ferrrari needs to outscore Red Bull by more than 18 points to prevent Red Bull becoming WCC at Austin. Ferrari has managed to outscore Red Bull 6 races in 2022 and only once with more than 13 points, the season opener where Ferrari scored the maximum and both Red Bull retired.

    Obviously there are many scenarios below are the outer limits
    If a Red Bull wins RB is WCC
    If Ferrari scores maximum of 44 points (1st, 2nd and FLAP) Red Bull needs to finish 3rd & 4th
    If only 1 Ferrari finishes it must win or 2nd with FLAP else RB is WCC even if both RB retire as well.

    For the season Red Bull only needs to score 26 more points in upcoming 4 races & sprint race to be WCC even if Ferrari scores 5x 1st/2nd + FLAP.

  11. Anyone else notice the silence from FIA, the F1 paddock and motorsport websites since Redbull going over the budget was announced?? No commentary from other team principals. Why the unexpected silence over the biggest story of the year?? Was weird enough when they moved the announcement to after a potential Red Bull drivers title in Suzuka. Blanket silence on social media except for furious fans…..

    1. Today –

      Red Bull budget cap breach ‘constitutes cheating’ – McLaren boss Zak Brown

    2. They’re probably having their legal teams work overtime to build a case they can release the second the FIA makes its supposed ‘final’ decision. Mercedes was willing to contest a baseless claim that Verstappen had passed Hamilton under the Abu Dhabi safety car – you can bet that they’re not going to stay silent on this.

      However, they’ve already set the stage by leaking the report’s outcome. Everyone basically knew Red Bull had broken the cost cap in 2021 before the FIA published its report. Now they wait for the next moves of the FIA and Red Bull before pouncing again. Zak Brown’s letter on behalf of McLaren-Mercedes is a – probably coordinated – warning that the FIA had ‘better do the right thing, wink wink’.

  12. Why don’t all stop speculating and rather stick to the rules ? There is already a finding of minor breach and the rules provide for consequences. If the penalty is within the rules, then that is end of the story If you don’t like the rule, then change it, but don’t portray something as unfair just because you don’t like the rule.

  13. All Horner need to do is letting Max go fast as possible to take the pole and give him extra pitstop than Sergio. That sure will ruin Charles strategies every last remaining races.

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