Red Bull chief's comments on Max Verstappen-Sergio Perez's pairing felt 'odd' to Martin Brundle: "Why not say nice things about them?"
F1 commentator Martin Brundle was left feeling 'odd' after Red Bull team principal Christian Horner mentioned how they have the 'best' driver lineup. Although Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were two of the most dominant drivers in the 2022 F1 season, the words chosen by Horner didn't agree with Brundle.
Speaking on Sky Sports F1, the presenter picked the word 'best' and connected them to the previous driver pairing Red Bull had back in the early 2010s with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Brundle said:
"What does Christian mean when he says 'best'? Does he mean they fit together well as a combo? In other words, that Sergio is probably a little bit more compliant than perhaps Mark Webber or Sebastian Vettel would have been."
Later on, he admitted that there might be a reason why Horner said that Verstappen and Perez are the best driver lineups they've ever had. As a Red Bull team principal, he must have all the data in front of him to see who is better. Nonetheless, Brundle was not happy to hear the word 'best' and simply wanted Horner to appreciate both drivers individually. He added:
"So, odd in that respect, but Christian's got the data and that's what he thinks, and he's the boss. But if they're the two you've got going into the season ahead, why not say nice things about them?"
After the 2022 F1 Brazilian GP, where Max Verstappen refused to give the position to Sergio 'Checo' Perez, there were several talks around Red Bull regarding the relationship between the two drivers. However, Checo himself recently mentioned that they had moved on from the incident long ago.
Red Bull team boss speaks on FIA's new political ban rule
At Red Bull's car launch event, Christian Horner shared his thoughts on the FIA's new rule that bans drivers and teams from making any kind of political statement. Though most drivers are against the rule and want their freedom of speech back, Horner explains how there should be a balance between making these statements on race weekends while still focusing on the racing spectacle.
"There's a couple of ways of looking at it. Sport should never be used as a political tool and I think sport, in many ways, to entertain but also have an element of escapism."
He further explained:
"We certainly at Red Bull have never constrained our drivers of their freedom of speech, or the ability to speak their minds because they do have a voice. I think it's a matter of finding a balance. In the world that we live in today, everybody has a voice and that shouldn't be suppressed. But of course, it does have to be done responsibly. So, we don't want a load of robots that are without an opinion going racing. Like with all things, it just has to be a sensible balance."
Along with Horner, Max Verstappen also expressed how the FIA's new rule should not be implemented, as drivers should have the right to speak their minds.