Pundit questions Red Bull’s ‘strange’ communication with Sergio Perez ‘driving blind’

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez shake hands after another 1-2 result for Red Bull. Miami May 2023

Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez shake hands after another 1-2 result. Miami May 2023

Anthony Davidson has questioned Red Bull’s communication with its two drivers at the Miami Grand Prix, the former F1 driver saying Sergio Perez was “driving blind” in his battle against Max Verstappen.

Although Perez started Sunday’s grand prix from pole position with Verstappen ninth on the grid after his qualifying was wrecked by a red flag, it wasn’t long before the team-mates were running 1-2.

On a different tyre strategy to his team-mate, Perez running medium-hard to Verstappen’s hard-medium, the Mexican driver was the first of the two to pit and in doing so relinquished the lead to Verstappen.

He was back up into P1 when the Dutchman pitted on lap 46 but that was short-lived as, on fresher tyres, Verstappen made short work of passing his team to claim his third win of this season and extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 14 points.

Davidson has questioned Red Bull’s “really strange” lack of communication with Perez in his fight against Verstappen.

The Sky Sports commentator said: “It’s been really strange listening to Perez’s radio. They haven’t told him anything about this fight between himself and Max Verstappen.

“Whereas on Verstappen’s side of the garage, it’s been constant.

“We’ve heard it coming through, that constant check on how the relative race gap is between him and his team-mate.

“Perez has been out there, in a way, driving blind. It’s been very odd. A bit too quiet on his radio.”

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However, Christian Horner has denied there was anything untoward with the team boss saying both drivers were kept informed about what was going on at all times.

He said as per FoxSports.com: “They both knew the gap, the 20 seconds for the pit stop. The gap was 19.8 and Checo had that for four or five laps, so he knows that number.

“He’s looking obviously at what the gap then is to Max on a lap-by-lap basis, which he got every lap. He then just had to take one number from the other and he knew exactly where Max was.”

As for Perez, there was no suggestion from the 33-year-old that Sunday’s result was down to anything but Verstappen’s superior pace on the day.

“I really wanted the win; it would have meant a lot to me, but it’s about not giving up,” he said. “It’s a long season ahead and we’ve got to keep pushing and hopefully [there will be] many more good moments for all of us coming.

“Obviously today Max deserved the victory because he was the fastest car out there. Really early on, I saw that the medium was very fragile initially, so I had to protect the tyre quite a lot.

“I could see that Max was closing up on the hards and from that point on, I knew that the race was looking difficult. And then when I went to the hard, Max had very strong pace so we didn’t manage to open a gap, he simply came too close to us.”