Red Bull instructed Sergio Perez not to engage in a battle with his teammate during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in order to prevent a reoccurrence of the crash that occurred between their drivers four years ago.
Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo collided at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix while vying for position. Perez now shares a seat with Verstappen on the team.
Perez was instructed "no fighting" during today's race after he was captured by Verstappen while leading the race. In response to a query from RaceFans, Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal, confessed he dreaded a repetition of 2018.
"The contrast in speed between the two drivers was enormous," he stated. "This morning, we talked 'hey, if you're racing each other, just give each other room.' Today, they did this.
The year 2018 is not too far away in our imaginations. Therefore, it was crucial that the drivers at this stage of the tournament be respectful of one another.
"Because the primary objective is to maximize points against Ferrari." We know they now have a very quick vehicle, and we've seen how rapidly things can change, so as a team we must prioritize that."
It was the second time in three races that Perez was instructed to let Verstappen to pass. He was need to do it twice at the Grand Prix of Spain. Horner stated that today's directive was not an example of "team instructions."
"I don't believe there were rigorous team directives today," he remarked. "It was just a matter of having a quicker car and a slower car, and Max had a considerable edge in terms of speed. Checo's rear tire was heavily granulated at that time.
"Therefore, it's a simple matter of 'guys, let's not put each other against the pit wall here; if one vehicle is faster, concede, and let's concentrate on achieving the best possible result for the team.'"
Horner commended Perez's response to the situation. "Checo is an adult," he stated. "He understands the greater picture and that this will be a lengthy tournament. He is in the best shape of his career following yesterday's qualifying effort in Monaco.
"Perhaps, with the benefit of hindsight, he placed too much emphasis on qualifying in his set-up for this weekend, given that rear deg that he encountered. Thus, this is something to consider. Max was in far better condition than Checo at the end of the first leg of the race.