Speaking after the race, the reigning World Champion says Red Bull should have anticipated the Safety Car being called to retrieve the stricken AlphaTauri.
“I saw that there was a car stopped, I thought he maybe just locked up,” he said. “In hindsight, I mean I can’t see that, but it’s something to review.
“Clearly you could see there was one wheel damaged and it looked like he was not going to drive that anyway back to the pits, even if he would have reversed. So it’s something to look at because, of course, that then did hurt my race after that.”
However, Horner has already evaluated the situation that led to the switching of places at the top, arguing Red Bull expected de Vries to continue.
“It was the optimum time to stop from a performance point of view,” he told Sky Sports.
“De Vries hasn’t hit the wall there; the engine is still running and to us, it looked like he was just going to reverse out and go from there.
“We’d already committed to the stop. Of course, 20-20 vision, 20-20 hindsight it’s always to say ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’, but sometimes things like that just don’t go your way.
“His [Max] misfortune was Checo’s good fortune.”
Despite his lap times tailing off towards the end of his opening stint, Verstappen has dismissed the assumption that he was in trouble with his medium tires.
“I was not entirely happy with the balance but also in hindsight, I was probably not pushing it enough initially in some corners,” he highlighted.
“But that should never be the indication that if there is a car stopped to just pit because you know that if there is a Safety Car, then you lose even more time by then staying out.
“So like I said, there are a few things to look at but again, I always know that the team tries to do the best thing and maybe just today we got unlucky.”
While Verstappen was unable to mount an attack on Perez for the remainder of the race, the Dutchman claims he was happier with the balance of his car in the closing laps.
“Then after the Safety Car, I tried to put the pressure on Checo, to try and get into that DRS,” he added. “I think one time, I was pretty close to getting it.
“But it was just hanging in there, really close, trying to really catch-up probably damage my tyres a bit too much early on for such a long stint. So, then at one point, I just settled-in, tried to do a little bit my own thing, to not damage the tyres completely to the end.
“But it was just very difficult to have a good balance, entry to mid-corner. And a lot of the lap time here is about entry-to-mid corner, to get that right. And I was just struggling with oversteer then understeer.
“So, the whole race, I was just trying a lot of things on my steering wheel to try and get a bit of a better feeling, balance in the car.
“And I actually think that I found a good compromise towards the end of the race because I think my last 10 laps were a lot stronger. And I felt a lot happier with the car, how everything was behaving.”