Red Bull “never envisaged” Brazil team orders situation – Horner

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says they didn’t foresee the dispute over team orders which occured at the end of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen angrily refused to obey an order to allow team mate Sergio Perez to pass him at the end of the race. Perez, who had been told to expect Verstappen would move over for him, remarked it “shows who he really is” afterwards.

Team principal Christian Horner said the team failed to prepare for the possibility they might need to swap the positions of the drivers during the race.

“I think the root cause of the problem was we never envisaged being in a situation in the final few laps, being in sixth or seventh place in that grand prix,” he said. “I think it was something that, as we hadn’t envisaged it, we hadn’t discussed it before the race.

“That was a mistake on our part that we should have thought through or tried to think through every single scenario. So I think that was a mistake as a team that we didn’t discuss it and come up with a very clear plan.”

Verstappen wasn’t told the team expected him to let Perez past until the final lap of the race. He said afterwards he had made it clear to Red Bull he wasn’t prepared to let his team mate past in such circumstances.

Horner said the team has since cleared the air between its drivers. “Obviously it was unfortunate what happened but it was quickly discussed openly and transparently and both drivers were very clear, open and honest with each other. From that, as a team, we move on.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

He expects Verstappen will help Perez secure second place in the drivers’ championship this weekend if the opportunity presents itself.

“The dynamic between the drivers is absolutely fine. The objective this weekend is very clear, what we want to achieve as a team, something that we’ve never done previously, to achieve a one-two in the drivers championship would cap off an unbelievable year for us.

“I think we made some mistakes in Brazil, we’ve learnt from that and we move on. We’ve done some amazing things, these two drivers have performed incredibly well together, they’re the reason that we are in the position that we are. Max, this season, has been on another planet this year.

“So we’re not going to let the events of a couple of laps in Brazil dictate the year for us and we come fighting into this race to do the best we can as a team to get the best result we can.”

Horner did not confirm whether Verstappen’s displeasure with Perez originated when his team mate crashed during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, or whether the team had investigated that incident.

“A lot has been said about Brazil,” he responded. “I think there’s things that we as a team could have done better. We hadn’t envisaged being in that position and we shouldn’t obviously have taken it for granted.

“I think there’s always lessons that you’re going to learn in this sport. It’s a matter of how you apply them.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

11 comments on “Red Bull “never envisaged” Brazil team orders situation – Horner”

  1. Jonathan Parkin
    19th November 2022, 12:56

    Verstappen needs to be careful. Perez could easily turn round and say ‘sod this’ and just drive for himself

  2. Max clearly did not need a TO to overtake Checo. It was supposed to make it easier for him to overtake Fernando Alonso but he was not able anyway. So the TO accomplished nothing and instead caused a terrible mess. As TO usually do. The execution was particularly poor, if RBR wanted Max to give the place back to Checo if he could not overtake ALO, they should have made it clear first thing.

    TO are probably unavoidable, but F1 would be much better without them.

    1. @hyoko Team orders are fantastic, especially when ignored. This was a season highlight.

  3. terrible mess. As TO usually do

    The excruciatingly unsufferable “faster than you” memes lasted for about a decade. Let’s hope this one subsides earlier.

  4. What the heck is Christian saying when he says they didn’t have a plan for the specific scenario. The only scenario where you can swap positions to benefit PER is when VER is in position n and PER is in position n-1. 1 scenario. After the WDC and Constructors was decided, it doesn’t matter if n is P1 or P2 or P3 all the way to P10.

    1. Technically n and n+1.

  5. both drivers were very clear, open and honest with each other

    Really? And is that statement ‘clear, open and honest’? If they didn’t discuss the Monaco qualifying allegations against Perez, apparently (?) what Verstappen was alluding to in his remarks during and after the race, then how can they have been ‘clear, open and honest with each other.’ And goingg by both Verstappen and Perez’s later comments, this issue wasn’t discussed. Who to believe huh? Best option? nobody.

  6. Red Bull want second in the WDC for Perez. Verstappen knows that and knows that Perez needs to outscore Leclerc to win that second place for the team. The team really needed to explain the obvious to him during the race?
    And another question: if Verstappen has ‘made it clear’ to the team that they are never to ask him to cede position to Perez, his order, then what relevance would any team discussion have? Verstappen has told them what’s going to happen.

  7. IMHO this is yet more gaslighting. Probably more true for him to say “I never expected Verstappen to show me up in public by ignoring my orders,” but why would he start telling the truth now?

  8. Sergio may want to race as though Verstappen is racing for another team and is his number-one competitor. Sergio may want to assume that Horner cares nothing about him.

  9. “…both drivers were very clear, open and honest with each other…”

    Is that similar to that when your boss tells you [or worse still, puts it in writing] that your job is safe???
    … and we are discussing a team run by CH & Dr. Death!!!!

Comments are closed.