Recently, tensions have been rising between Max Verstappen, one of Red Bull’s drivers, and Sergio Perez. Both are battling for the championship. Perez joined Red Bull initially to be a wingman for Verstappen and assist him on the track. Perez has grown in ambition and demonstrated his driving skills.
Perez insists that they share mutual respect despite rumors of a split. Christian Horner despite these tensions has given the pair permission to race on the track. He said to total-motorsport.com, “The drivers are, of course, free to race just so long as they do it cleanly. They respect each other, and they also respect the team, because we are all riding on the outcome. It’s important to get as many points as possible and.. since it is still early in the championship, you don’t want to lose any points.
Horner has made it clear what principles both of his drivers are expected to follow. He wants to encourage them to compete with each other to maximize points for the team, but also avoid a collision on the track that would rob the team of important points. Horner has chosen to not prioritize Verstappen and instead wants Perez to show his full potential.
Red Bull is not new to controversy on the track at Azerbaijan GP.
Max Verstappen’s relationship with Daniel Ricciardo was forever changed by the 2018 Azerbaijan GP. Ricciardo, for example, rear-ended Verstappen to try and overtake him. The relationship between the two quickly deteriorated and led to the Aussie leaving at the end the season.
Although Max Verstappen Sergio Perez have not yet been involved in a major incident, tensions between the two are high. This situation is out of control. From disobeying team orders to stealing the fastest laps in the last moment, it has no limits. It is believed that the alleged rift could lead to a repeat of 2018’s incident. If this were to happen, it would have far-reaching consequences for the team.
The pair has not engaged in wheel-towheel competition under the pretext of team orders. Now that the two are free to do as they please, we may see them go head-to-head this weekend. Both drivers are as fervent about winning as each other. Horner has made it clear that the freedom of racing must come with clean racing and a reduced crash risk. Otherwise, there will be no winners.
Horner has released the Bulls’ chains, making it even more competitive. Both drivers are still in contention for the championship, so they were granted this freedom. If one of the drivers were to emerge as a clear favorite after building up a significant advantage in the future, then team orders would be re-introduced.