One blemish on Red Bull’s remarkable title winning 2022 season was the team orders row between the two drivers in Brazil. Despite the incident, Red Bull Team Boss Christian Horner has asserted that no ill-feeling remains in the team as they ready themselves to defend the championship crown this year.
The controversy arose when Max Verstappen refused to let team mate Sergio Perez pass him on the last lap of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, despite being requested to do so by the team to aid Perez in his fight with Charles Leclerc of Ferrari for second place in the drivers’ championship. Verstappen was heard on the team radio saying “I told you already last summer, don’t ask that again to me… I gave my reasons, and I stand by it.” Perez added “It shows who he really is.”
However, Horner claims that both drivers and the team have put the incident behind them. In an interview, he said “I think the root cause of the problem was we had never envisaged being in a situation, being in the final few laps, being in sixth and seventh place in that Grand Prix. And I think, that was a mistake on our part, that we should have thought through, or tried to think through every single scenario.” He also added that both drivers had been “very clear, open, and honest with each other, and from that, as a team, we move on and the dynamic between the drivers is absolutely fine.”
Red Bull’s Success In 2022
Red Bull’s 17 wins in 2022 was the second most successful season in Formula 1 history by a constructor – after Mercedes’ 19 wins in 2016 – but Horner admits that it wasn’t as easy as they made it look. He said “It was a very tough year. When you look at the statistics, it looks like we totally dominated it. But certainly, in the first half of the season, Ferrari had their chances and probably a quicker package. But Max was outstanding throughout the year, particularly in that first half.”
He concluded by saying that the team had learned from their mistakes in Brazil and that they wouldn’t let the events of a couple of laps dictate their year. Red Bull are now hoping to build on their success in 2022 and defend their championship crown this year.