Given the similar level of competitiveness between Red Bull and Mercedes this season, the two structures have not hesitated to put a spade in their wheels as soon as the opportunity presented itself. So, as Max Verstappen completed the final kilometers of the United States Grand Prix in the lead and his pursuer Lewis Hamilton held the bonus point awarded to the best lap maker in the race, all eyes almost automatically turned to the teammate. from the Dutch, Sergio Pérez.
Earlier in the year, the Mexican was ordered to stop at the pit at the end of the British Grand Prix, then crossing the top 10, to prevent Hamilton from scoring the point of the best lap . In Austin, Pérez was this time higher in the standings as he held the third position. However, an additional stop would have ejected him from the top 3 since he was only a handful of seconds ahead of Charles Leclerc.
And, in a day when Pérez bravely battled illness and dehydration, Christian Horner agreed that it surely wasn’t fair to ask him to forgo the podium to increase Verstappen’s lead over Hamilton in the standings. general.
“It would have been brutal to bring in Checo [Pérez] at the stand and remove it from the podium “, replied the team director when Motorsport.com asked him about the best lap. “Leclerc was obviously too close. In the common interest of the team, it was better for Checo to take the points [de la troisième place]. So that’s what we did. “
Pérez signed his second consecutive top 3 in Austin. A start to the series which is timely for Red Bull since the fight for the two world titles is coming to an end. The Red Bull team are also certain that the Mexican rider will play a decisive role in the overall standings, with Horner pointing out that the performance in the United States of a diminished Pérez was a sign that he had finally tamed the Red Bull RB16B.
“[Avec] the way he managed the race, you can see that his confidence is increasing “Horner told Sky Sports. “This is the second race in a row where he has been on the podium. His home race is coming. [le Grand Prix de Mexico, ndlr]. He’s regaining his form, which is crucial for us at this point in the season. “