Christian Horner defends Red Bull team orders at Spanish Grand Prix

Horner requested that Sergio Perez yield his place to Max Verstappen, who went on to take victory in Barcelona

<p>Christian Horner has defended his decision to ask Sergio Perez to cede first place </p>

Christian Horner has defended his decision to ask Sergio Perez to cede first place

Christian Horner has defended the team orders given by Red Bull during the Spanish Grand Prix as “the right thing to do”.

After the retirement of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc from the lead, Sergio Perez was asked to relinquish first place by his team, helping to clear the way for Max Verstappen to take his third consecutive race win ahead of his teammate.

Perez suggested on the radio after the race that he may not have been particularly pleased with Red Bull’s decision, saying: “I’m happy for the team, but we need to speak later.”

However Horner has insisted that it was the sensible option, with the team principal not willing to risk potentially missing out on a significant amount of points by letting the drivers fight it out, particularly with DRS working only intermittently.

“I think the problem that we had [was we had] temperatures raging, you know, water, oil, brakes,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“And the last thing you want to risk is, you know, a DNF when you have got two cars that can potentially now one-two. And they were on different strategies, so it wasn’t a straight fight - Max had such a tyre advantage.

“And of course Checo’s tyres wouldn’t have made it you know, we don’t think to the end. So that’s why you know, he pitted towards the end of the race to get that valuable, fastest lap as well.

“Our responsibility is to bring the cars home with as many points as we can. And of course, what Checo couldn’t see at the time, which I think he’d see perfectly well now, is that you had such a long stint to do on that medium tyre. Max had such a tyre advantage.

“From a team perspective, there’s just no point in taking that risk with an intermittent DRS, with temperatures raging up and down. So it was absolutely the right thing to do.

“I think from a team point of view, the offset was so great between the two of them. I mean, Max was at that stage, because the tyre delts are about two seconds a lap quicker. It just didn’t make sense to let them fight it out.”

Verstappen now heads the Drivers’ Championship standings having moved past Leclerc, with Perez in third.

In the chase for the Constructors’ title, Red Bull have established a 26 point lead on Ferrari ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.

The fact that the race in Monte Carlo comes so soon after the Spanish Grand Prix leaves little time for Perez and Red Bull to iron out any lingering issues from the Mexican’s apparent disappointment, but Horner is sure that the 32-year-old will find it “very easy” to move on.

“I think we discuss it you know openly, I think he see the race plot,” orn

“You see how, I think close to 30 laps to do on that medium tyre, which in the end we needed to pit to make sure we covered Russell’s so in the heat of the moment, you’re gonna understand he’s a racing driver. If he wasn’t pushing those things, he’s not doing his job.

“I think even tonight, I think, you know, seeing him just after the race. You know, he gets it, it’s such a bigger picture.”

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