- F1 creates an odd dynamic the place teammates are additionally rivals and one is given desire over the opposite.
- Sergio Perez is without doubt one of the prime drivers, however his main job is to assist Max Verstappen and the crew.
Purple Bull Racing crew principal Christian Horner had a blunt message about Sergio Perez’s function on the crew — he serves on the pleasure of the crew and no matter Max Verstappen wants.
Horner sat down for a prolonged Q&A for the Cambridge Union and was requested how he manages System One’s odd dynamic, whereby teammates are additionally rivals however one is commonly requested to sacrifice himself to assist the opposite. In his response, Horner first famous that the thought of “teammates” is deceptive.
“You recognize, ‘teammate’ is a fallacy,” Horner stated. “The worst factor that they’re. They’re positively not mates as a result of the man within the different automobile is the one particular person that you’re judged towards. He is the one particular person with the identical tools. So he’ll both make or break your profession. So it is a advantageous line.”
As for the particular scenario with Purple Bull, Horner made it clear that regardless of being probably the greatest drivers on the earth, Perez’s function on the crew was to assist Verstappen and Purple Bull win championships.
“I believe that definitely final yr, [Perez] was an unbelievable servant for the crew, the place he helped his teammate on quite a few events,” Horner stated. “Definitely in that final race, when he did a shocking job of backing Lewis [Hamilton] up. With out that, Max would not have gained the championship.”
Whereas Horner refused to say that Perez carries the dreaded label of “No. 2 driver,” it’s clear that’s Perez’s function, even when his perspective has modified a bit this season.
“This yr is a whole reset, new rules, new automobiles, and Sergio is way more at house within the automobile,” Horner stated. “So he now believes in himself that he is usually a world champion, and that provides then one other dynamic the place, you realize, sure, our essential competitors is Ferrari, however you realize, clearly the drivers wish to race one another.”
Whereas that could be Perez’s mindset this yr, Purple Bull’s choices on the tracks have completed little to quell the concept that he’s nonetheless there to assist the crew and Verstappen.
The dynamic got here to the forefront throughout the Spanish Grand Prix, when Perez was requested at two factors to not race for the win regardless of being the extra dominant driver that day. On one event, Perez was heard on the radio calling the order to let Verstappen cross “very unfair.” Later, after ending second to his teammate, Perez was heard saying, “I’m joyful for the crew, however we have to converse later.”
With the win, Verstappen and Purple Bull took leads within the driver’s and crew standings, which they haven’t relinquished since. In the meantime, Perez, who completed fourth final yr, is in third place, simply 9 factors behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, regardless of sacrificing factors for his co-worker.