F1 News: Martin Brundle Raises Eyebrows Over Christian Horner’s Praise For Verstappen And Perez
Former Formula 1 driver and Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle has expressed skepticism about Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner’s recent comments about the team’s driver duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. During the launch of Red Bull’s 2023 F1 livery, Horner proclaimed the pair to be the best driver lineup the team has ever had in the sport.
Horner’s praise comes after Verstappen’s impressive record over the last two seasons, including two Drivers’ Championships, 17 Grand Prix wins, and a first-place finish in the Drivers’ Championship alongside Perez’s third-place finish, which led to Red Bull winning the Constructors’ Championship, ending Mercedes’ long reign. Horner said:
“We’re incredibly fortunate to have two fantastic drivers, and their combined efforts over the past two years have been remarkable,
“Max won his first Drivers’ World Championship in 2021 and then the double championship last year, and the two drivers combined won 17 Grand Prix races. They finished first and third in the Drivers’ Championship and brought the Constructors’ Championship back to Red Bull Racing for the first time in eight years. In my opinion, they are the best driver pairing we’ve ever had in Formula 1 and have been incredibly successful.”
Brundle, however, is not convinced by Horner’s claims and wants to know what Horner means by “best.” The commentator wondered if Perez’s compliance with the team’s strategy makes him a better fit than previous drivers like Mark Webber or Sebastian Vettel. Brundle told Sky Sports F1 presenter Simon Lazenby,
“What did Christian mean when he says they’re the best line-up ever? Does he mean they fit together well, with Sergio being more compliant than Mark Webber or Sebastian Vettel would have been? It’s an odd statement, but Christian has the data and that’s what he thinks. But if they’re the two drivers you have going into the season, why not say nice things about them?”
Despite Horner’s positive comments, tensions between Verstappen and Perez rose towards the end of the 2022 season, leading Brundle to suggest that Horner’s statement may be an attempt to cover up past conflicts.