Red Bull “never envisaged” Brazil team orders situation

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.”

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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.”

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2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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