Sergio Perez sends clear message to Christian Horner as Red Bull star ignores critics

Sergio Perez has ignored his critics and sent a clear message to Red Bull chief Christian Horner that he wants to battle for the F1 title. Perez is currently third in the Drivers’ Championship standings after finishing second at the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend.

Perez had looked to be on his way to a Grand Prix victory for just the third time in his career last weekend as he led the race in the latter stages. But Red Bull chiefs told the Mexican to relinquish his lead and allow his team-mate Max Verstappen to pass.

Last season’s champion had been trailing Perez but was on a different tyre strategy and Red Bull bosses wanted the Dutchman to pass the chequered flag first to take the title fight to rival Charles Leclerc. But Perez has revealed he wants an opportunity for glory. “It was clear I was coming in an era where Max was going to be fighting for the championship,” Perez said ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

“I have no problems helping my team-mate in particular races like I did in Abu Dhabi, but at the moment I want to fight for the championship. For me as a driver, it’s important to make sure I have full support from the team, which is what I had.”

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Verstappen’s victory in Barcelona saw him leapfrog Leclerc at the top of the leaderboard as he moved six points clear of the Monegasque. And the 24-year-old is now 25 points in front of Perez.

Perez is clearly seen as Red Bull’s No 2 driver, despite his insistence on battling for honours. But the 32-year-old appeared angry when bosses asked him to move out of the way last time out, as he told them the decision was “very unfair” over the team radio before demanding “talks.”

Former F1 star Jolyon Palmer has revealed, however, that Perez has to accept Red Bull’s decisions. “As a driver you can’t ignore team orders because ultimately you have to follow the wishes of the team – they are the ones who pay your salary,” Palmer explained in his Formula1 column.

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“This is particularly true if you haven’t got the clout of a Verstappen or [Lewis] Hamilton, with championships and form behind them to potentially disobey the team and have an argument about it afterwards. Most drivers’ position in a team is precarious enough that they must follow their instructions – if not they are replaceable.”

Perez will be hoping to put pressure on Verstappen and Leclerc at the top of the leaderboard once again this weekend when the F1 season continues at the Monaco Grand Prix.

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