Red Bull director Christian Horner questions Checo Perez’s win at Azerbaijan GP, credits Safety Car

Sergio Perez's Baku win sparks debate at Red Bull as Horner credits Safety Car; Checo defends his performance and focuses on long championship ahead.

Sergio Perez once again dominated the Baku street circuit to take first place in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix over Max Verstappen, Checo Perez edging ever closer to his teammate in the fight for the drivers’ championship.

However, how he won provoked a series of reactions among the rest of the team at Red Bull Racing. On this occasion, Christian Horner was in charge of discrediting the effort of the Mexican driver on the track and acknowledged the influence of the Safety Car in his victory.

At the end of the competition, audio of Horner’s final conversation with Verstappen after crossing the finish line was shared on social networks; while Checo Perez was celebrating his victory in Baku, the chief mechanic of the Austrian team consoled Max.

Checo Pérez ganó el primer lugar en el circuito callejero de Bakú y mantuvo su supremacía en pistas callejeras  (Maxim Shemetov/Pool vía AP)
Checo Perez won first place on the Baku street circuit and maintained his supremacy on street tracks (Maxim Shemetov/Pool via AP).

He acknowledged that the Mexican driver was lucky with the Safery as it allowed him to have a big time gap with the Dutchman as the difference was between 1.5 to 3.2 seconds apart, so Horner avoided a conflict between the drivers, thus demeriting Perez.

He insisted that Sergio’s victory was no guarantee that he was already fighting directly for the championship title. So, the Red Bull director insisted that Max did an excellent job at the Baku circuit.

Checo was lucky with the Safery Car, but relax Max, there is still a long World Cup ahead, you scored good points today”.

Christian Horner

This was what he expressed to him on the radio when the results of the race were already in.

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Christian Horner consideró que Checo tuvo suerte con el Safery Car en Azerbaiyán (AP Foto/Sergei Grits)
Christian Horner considered that Checo was lucky with the Safery Car in Azerbaijan (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

The Safety Car was activated on lap 11/51 after Nyck de Vries, driver of Alpha Tauri, had a mishap in turn six, so the car had to be removed from the track. By this time, Checo was still leading the race, so safety did not affect him because he had already cleared the accident area.

But the one affected was Verstappen as he entered the pits due to degradation problems, so he abandoned the race momentarily to work on the situation in the pits, so when he entered the pitlane, he came out in third place behind Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and Checo Perez.

And although the Double World Champion overtook the Monegasque to return to second place, he could not match the speed of the Spaniard, so he could not close the gap with his Red Bull teammate, and the Dutchman had to settle for second place.

Checo Perez defended his victory in Azerbaijan

 Checo se mantuvo al frente de la carrera, el tapatío reconoció que conoce de sus habilidades y descartó que el Safery Car le haya dado algún tipo de ventaja  (REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)
Checo remained at the front of the race, and the Spaniard acknowledged that he knew his abilities and ruled out that the Safety Car had given him any advantage (REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov).

After 51 intense laps in which Checo remained at the front of the race, the Mexican acknowledged his abilities and ruled out that the Safety Car had given him any advantage in the race, so he applauded his effort throughout the weekend, which resulted in a first place.

In an interview with different media, he explained his feelings regarding his result in Azerbaijan. “Max degraded a lot in his first stint. Regardless of the Safety Car, we would have had the position. It was too early to stop, then the Safety Car helped us a bit, but from there, it was neck and neck throughout the race,” he said.

On the other hand, he added that “I know what I am capable of. And to continue the same. We must keep our feet on the ground and now think about Miami. It’s a long championship.