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Horner had a message for his Red Bull drivers: We asked them this morning

Horner had a message for his Red Bull drivers: "We asked them this morning"

12 June - 14:16

Christian Horner revealed that he told Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez to avoid battles during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Perez had a reminder on the team radio when Verstappen was catching and overtaking. The team boss is also pleased to "capitalise" on Ferrari's reliability mistakes. 

Team orders

With Perez only 15 points behind Verstappen going into this race weekend, and beating the 2021 World Champion in qualifying, Horner gave a clear message to both drivers before the race. The Red Bull boss didn't want a repeat of the Verstappen/Ricciardo crash at the same venue a few years earlier. 

"Max seemed to have a little less degradation in the car than Checo did so they've been very fair with each othr. At the point Charles goes out, there's still over half the race. They did what we asked them this morning if you find yourself racing give each other space and they did that. When Charles went out the race, you're thinking what could go wrong. It was just a question of managing the race, bringing the car home and capitalising on those points," Horner told Sky Sports.

Battle with Ferrari

Charles Leclerc started from pole position but lost the lead to Perez in the opening corner. The two teams were on different strategies but the Ferrari retirements removed any threat. Horner says it would've been interesting to see it play out. 

"Charles went for the early stop, it would've been a long stint. We had an overlap staying out, we had an eight or nine-lap advantage, plus the pace. I think we'd have been in good shape, but we didn't get to see that. Unlucky for Ferrari today, particularly Charles Leclerc," Horner added. 

The Brit concluded with a message that praised Verstappen for a "mature drive". The boss also acknowledged there was some concern with the tyres to avoid a repeat of last year. "That's always why we changed tyres with 20 laps to go," he concluded. 

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