Ex-Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle has questioned Christian Horner’s “odd” statement regarding its driver line-up in Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Speaking at the launch of Red Bull’s 2023 F1 livery last week, Horner labelled Verstappen and Perez as the team’s best-ever line-up.
The pair have been partnered together since 2021, with Verstappen winning two Drivers’ titles in that time, while Red Bull picked up the Constructors’ Championship last year to finally dethrone Mercedes.
“We’re very lucky we got two fantastic drivers and you know their combined efforts the last two years have been stunning,” Horner said.
“Obviously, you know, that first Drivers’ World Championship for Max in 2021 and then the double championship last year and winning 17 Grands Prix between the two of them.
“First and third in in the Drivers’ Championship and of course, bringing home that Constructors’ Championship back to Oracle Red Bull Racing for the first time in eight years.
“And, you know, these guys, I think it’s the best pairing we’ve ever had in Formula 1. It’s been hugely successful.
“We’re going to need every bit of that this year as we go against some big opponents, with the other teams looking to come back at us after such a dominant season last year, but we’re very fortunate to have two such talented drivers.”
Verstappen has largely out-paced Perez during their two seasons together and in the latter stages of the 2022 campaign, tension rose between the pair when Verstappen refused to give Perez a position to aid the Mexican’s fight for second in the standings.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1, presenter Simon Lazenby suggested that the comment was “getting an early plaster over the old wounds” from last year.
During its existence, Red Bull has fielded a number of successful line-ups, including Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, as well as Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.
Brundle has questioned what Horner meant by his remark, theorising that perhaps it means Perez is more obedient to the team game than previous drivers.
“What did Christian mean when he says best?
“Does he mean that they fit together well, the combo, in other words, Sergio is a little bit more compliant than Mark Webber or perhaps Sebastian Vettel would’ve been?
“So, odd in that respect, but Christian’s got the data, and that’s what he thinks. But if they’re the two you’ve got going into the season ahead, why not say nice things about them.”
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