Only a few days ago, the environment at the Red Bull Junior Academy came under fire after one of their former recruits, Jaime Alguersuari, blasted their way of teaching at an interview. Later, the Spaniard took to his Twitter and modified his remarks on Helmut Marko, saying that his time at Red Bull has made him into the person he is today. But the sudden 180° turn that Alguersuari took, led to the rise of suspicion in the minds of many of the fans. And now, once again, Red Bull is coming under fire because of some comments made by its Team Principal Christian Horner.
It is no news that Red Bull is one of the most demanding recruiters amongst all the F1 teams, and they can terminate their contracts with the racers midway through the season, if they are not satisfied with the results. This was seen in the case of Pierre Gasly, who got demoted in 2019 because the team felt Alex Albon would do a better job in his place. And when Albon failed too, they quickly replaced him with Sergio Perez, causing Albon to lose out on racing in the entire 2021 season.
And now, Christian Horner has made some disturbing remarks about Sergio Perez’s role in the British team that have led to wide criticism from the fans. Indeed, Red Bull is one of the most successful teams in F1 right now, but the toxic work environment that they sometimes appear to portray, is not sitting with the fans.
Christian Horner said Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez can never be “teammates”
Formula 1 is a sport that requires enormous unity–between the team engineers and mechanics and the drivers, between the team Boss and the drivers, and most importantly, between the two drivers of each team. But according to Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner, Mexican racer Sergio Perez’s role on the team is not to fulfill the spot as Max Verstappen’s partner.
Christian Horner said, “You know, ‘teammate’ is a fallacy. The worst thing that they are. They’re definitely not mates because the guy in the other car is the only person that you are judged against. He’s the only person with the same equipment. So he will either make or break your career. So it’s a fine line.”
And then he made matters worse by talking about Sergio Perez’s function in the team as a Red Bull driver. He said, “I think that certainly last year, [Perez] was an incredible servant for the team, where he helped his teammate on numerous occasions.”
Thus, Horner somehow pointed that despite the massive experience and skill that Sergio Perez has gathered throughout his years-long career in F1, he is nothing but a “servant” for Red Bull, appointed just so that they can ensure a Championship victory for Max Verstappen. Meanwhile, Perez is confident of his own abilities as he recently said he is looking forward to competing for the Championship next season, having shown Red Bull his strength by giving a tough competition to Charles Leclerc this year for the second position in the WDC Standings.