Christian Horner, Red Bull boss, defended Checo Pérez, the team’s driver, during a discussion with Nico Rosberg, 2016 Formula 1 champion.
The tense moment occurred at the end of the Spanish Grand Prix, where Horner praised the performance of Perez, who started from the eleventh position and managed to finish fourth, despite some difficulties in the final straight of the race.
In an interview with Sky Sports, the Briton highlighted Checo Perez’s effort to reach third place, which George Russell finally obtained. Horner considered that the Mexican driver’s comeback was impressive and that he should be satisfied with his performance. However, these comments were not well received by Rosberg.
Madre mia, vaya hachazo de Horner a Rosberg defendiendo a Checo Perez💀— FTotal (@FTotal_) June 4, 2023
"Quiero decir que eres un tipo bastante crítico, ¿no? Eres duro con estos tipos. Ahora que no estás en el coche, estás feliz de criticar a todos los muchachos"pic.twitter.com/KUlpkWWyfe
Rosberg Attacks Checo Perez
The former Formula 1 champion questioned Perez’s career, comparing it to Red Bull star driver Max Verstappen unfavorably. Rosberg pointed out a lack of performance by the Mexican pilot, especially in the first part of the race. This statement generated an immediate response from Horner, who criticized Rosberg’s critical attitude for not being in the car and attacking other drivers.
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Horner defended Perez’s performance, arguing that he had problems in the first laps and that George Russell benefited from a not penalized maneuver. Despite that, he stressed that the Mexican’s race was getting stronger and stronger, especially in the final stint, although he did not have enough laps to fight for the podium:
“He was hunting for that podium at the end of the race. And I think he lost some ground on the first lap. But then his recovery through the race was very, very strong. He qualified out of position, and I think had he qualified in the position he should have been, he would have been (in the fight) today. So I think he can take, you know, the positives from his recovery today.”
Cristian Horner highlights good closing for Checo Perez
Rosberg replied: “Christian, you just said he had a good race, but I think he had quite a lack of performance, especially in the first part of the race. Isn’t it? I mean, comparing with Max, there were some laps where there was quite a difference.”
“He lost in the first few laps and didn’t start well. George managed to get a good start, get off the track and get back on the track without taking any penalties. That was the difference at the end of the day,” said Horner.