Christian Horner says there is “zero and one” chances of Max Verstappen helping Sergio Perez secure second place in the Drivers’ Championship, after all he doesn’t need the help.
Perez goes into the penultimate Grand Prix of this season looking to finish runner-up to Verstappen in the standings in what would be Red Bull’s first-ever one-two result.
The only person standing is his way is Lewis Hamilton.
‘Checo shouldn’t need that help from Max’
Perez is 32 points ahead of the Mercedes driver with 56 still in play. The only way Hamilton can continue the fight into the season finale in Abu Dhabi is to outscore Perez by seven points.
Should he fail to do so on Saturday night, Perez will have the runner-up spot in the bag.
He, however, shouldn’t look to his team-mate Verstappen for help.
“Somewhere between zero and one, I would say,” Horner told Sky Sports when asked if the World Champion would give his team-mate a hand.
“Checo, I don’t think he’s going to need that help, Max is focused on his thing. He doesn’t want to leave anything on the table. He’s focused on an incredible year that he’s been having, and he just wants to keep winning.
“Checo shouldn’t need that help from Max.”
The team boss reiterated that to Bloomberg, adamant Perez can do this on on his own.
“I don’t think he’ll need the help from Max, to be honest with you,” he said.
“He just needs to finish either ahead or just behind Lewis this weekend to secure that second position.”
Capping off his season with the runner-up result would be a morale booster for Perez who has spent much of this season being heavily criticised in the media with every second report claiming he’s about to be axed.
Instead, Horner says – yet again – the driver will continue as Verstappen’s team-mate for the 2024 season.
“The only people that keep putting the question mark are you guys [media],” said Horner.
“I keep repeating that Checo is going to be our driver next year and he’s had a tough six weeks, but he’s started to re-find his form.
“I thought the race that he drove in São Paulo was very strong, his race in Austin was strong, he’s finding his form again.
“He’s second in the World Championship, over 30 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton with two races to go.
“Let’s see what he can do over these next couple of races, but he will be our driver alongside Max in 2024.”