Red Bull’s strategy with Verstappen to keep Checo Pérez at bay

The new objectives of the team that leads the Formula 1 championship leaves aside its second driver to obtain the title

Red Bull find themselves in an interesting situation in the 2023 F1 Championship. With five races in the rear-view mirror, it looks like the title will be decided between the two pilots of Red Bull, the current world champion, Max Verstappen, and his teammate, Sergio “Checo” Pérez. The driver was unable to maintain a title challenge during his first two seasons with Red Bull.

A situation that has changed with the 2023 campaign in a surprising way, acquiring two victories while enduring intense pressure from Verstappen behind him. The fight between the two for supremacy has been friendly so far, and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed that they are doing everything they can to ensure the competition remains fair for both drivers.

Verstappen and Pérez pilots of Red Bull

Christian Horner and his transparency strategy

“I think it’s just about being transparent and talking things out,” Horner said when asked how do you handle such a tense situation between two pilots equally competitive. This is a situation Horner has had to deal with before, like a decade ago when Sebastian Vettel bested Mark Webber, or when Verstappen first came to Red Bull alongside the more experienced Daniel Ricciardo.

Horner takes it upon himself to remind his pilots that “drive for a team and represent each member of the team when they drive their cars, and they represent all the partners that we represent as well. It’s not just about them.” However, Horner lightly revealed that while his drivers are eager to please off the track, once the adrenaline kicks in on the track, it’s a completely different story.

Respect on the track with a dynamic duo at Red Bull

“Of course, in a meeting or a briefing they understand it, but as soon as they put on a helmet, I think they forget it in the other ear”, he commented wryly. “But, it could be seen on Sunday (in Miami), the respect that existed between the two pilots in the way they competed with each other, that they were tough but fair and gave each other enough space, which is what we asked for.”

Horner also revealed how the Drivers’ Championship is of less importance to him have to beat the other nine teams to claim the Constructors’ trophy, even if the Drivers’ title ensures more prestige. “In F1, you have two championships: the Constructors’ Championship, which is where the money is distributed, either the money that flows into the sport that Stefano pays for,” he explained.

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