Christian Horner admits as a team they could have handled things better in F1 2022 after Brazil fallout as they didn’t envisage that it would play out that way.
Amid a season of high for Red Bull, the F1 Brazil GP turned out to be sour between the two drivers when Max Verstappen did not move aside for Sergio Perez in the Mexican’s quest for second place in the drivers’ standing against Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Looking at how the races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi went, Perez would have still lost by one point to Leclerc even with the assist from Verstappen. But outside the position picture, the fallout between the two drivers over a matter brought out the ugly side of things.
Naturally, the Mexican fans were enraged and it did get a bit personal between the two families too. Inside the team, however, things were seemingly doused between Verstappen and Perez, with the two in their usual manner in Abu Dhabi.
They chose not to reveal what happened though despite speculation around the qualifying crash of Perez in Monaco. Some reports even mentioned Mexico as a potential point where the Mexican likely intended for a home grand prix win.
But neither parties have chosen to clear out the issue Verstappen had to not aide Perez in Brazil. But nevertheless, the media still tried to ask Horner about his feelings on the Monaco crash where the Red Bull also admitted that they didn’t handle things well.
“Well, any crash, particularly in a cost cap environment is disastrous,” started Horner. “It’s expensive, it’s costly and particularly at a street circuit. So from a team’s perspective, it’s way, way from an ideal. So you know, there was a lot of frustration following that. It could have obviously damaged the gearbox as well in an incident like that, and of course, then incurred a lot of damage, of course with Carlos Sainz.
“Now, thankfully, this year, that’s probably been the biggest accident that we’ve had from a cost basis, which has a one-on-one effect on your performance to develop. Because you have to pick whether you’re going to make spare parts or development parts. Now, thankfully, the drivers have done a great job, thereafter, of managing not to hit things. And so we actually have probably the least amount of crash damage in the year compared to any other team. But, yeah, look, a lot has been said, about Brazil.
“I think there are things that that we as a team obviously could have done better. We hadn’t, as I said, envisaged being in that position. And, you know, we shouldn’t have obviously taken it for granted and I think, you know, there are always lessons you’re going to learn in this sport, and it’s a matter of how you how you apply them,” summed up Horner.
As we know, Perez did lost second to Leclerc in Abu Dhabi after the strategy from Ferrari played to their advantage. And since the hiring of Daniel Ricciardo as its third driver, the fans on social media have marked the Mexican to be always be in some danger.
Despite not noting what led to it, the media tried to ask the root cause which Horner described more it as that they didn’t envisage such scenario would arise and it will end up in this way. “I think the root cause of the problem was, we had never envisaged being in a situation, being in the final few laps, being in sixth and seventh place in that grand prix,” he said.
“And I think it was something that, as we hadn’t envisaged it, we hadn’t discussed it, before the race, and I think, that was a mistake on our part, that we should have thought through, or tried to think through every single scenario. And so, I think that that was a mistake as a team that we didn’t discuss it and come up with a very clear plan.
“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 and from that, as a team, we move on and the dynamic between the drivers is absolutely fine. I think, we made some mistakes in Brazil, we’ve learned from that and, as I say, 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’s 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,” summed up Horner.
Here’s Christian Horner crediting Red Bull people for 2022 success
Here’s potential earning of Red Bull drivers
Here’s Daniel Ricciardo rejoining Red Bull
Here’s Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez on Abu Dhabi GP
Here’s Red Bull statement after Brazil