Christian Horner ‘unable to control’ Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez
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Christian Horner may be unable to control Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez if a feud breaks out at Red Bull, according to Johnny Herbert. The former Sky Sports F1 pundit says it is almost impossible for team bosses to intervene if drivers ignore team orders to gain an advantage.
Red Bull was last embroiled in a tense duel when Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber fought at the front a decade ago. Vettel ignored the team’s former Multi-21 request in Malaysia as he overtook Webber to win.
Herbert points to the example as evidence to show Horner could find it difficult in a repeat scenario between Verstappen and Perez. He told Express Sport: “Going back to Sebastian and Mark. There was a bit of that for sure about the championship.
“Did they control it? You can probably see what Sebastian did in Malaysia. They weren’t able to control that.
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“Can you control the driver when he’s in the cockpit? Well, the only way you can control him if he’s going against you as a team in that moment is have a red button on your computer and you basically turn the engine off. The only other way you can do that is make his life more difficult when you go to the next race. But by doing that you only harm yourself as a team.
“So actually, you can have a word and sort of say ‘come on respect each other, we will let you race’. I hope that sort of continues.” Perez and Verstappen have already been embroiled in their fair share of incidents in recent months.
The Dutchman ignored the team’s demand to let Perez through in Sao Paulo despite needing points for the championship.
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The Mexican also approached Verstappen for talks and demanded a “review” after the reigning champion stole his fastest lap in Saudi Arabia. But, Herbert says the pair are yet to reach their boiling point with the nadir only coming when they fight for the title.
He told Express Sport: “I don’t think there’s a feud there now. I think that will only rumble to a situation of being a problem when that championship is being fought out between the two.
“At the moment they haven’t really had that.” But, Herbert still wants Red Bull to let the two stars race fairly on track rather than introduce draconian orders.
The ex-Stewart and Benetton star explained: “There will be a point, that I hope doesn’t happen, they decide there is no racing after three laps, or the last 10 laps of the race then you don’t race.
“That I don’t agree with because I don’t think that’s fair on the other driver who could have possibly attacked and won the race because he’s told he can’t. That’s good for the team but it’s not good for that driver. So I hope he doesn’t get to that point.”
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