Christian Horner warns Max Verstappen of Sergio Perez threat after Monaco GP

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Christian Horner has warned Max Verstappen that Sergio Perez is a ‘lot closer’ to the reigning champion on pure pace this season. The Red Bull team principal said Perez had been competitive all weekend in Monaco while Verstappen struggled to get the car into gear.

Perez got the jump on his team-mate during Saturday’s qualifying session and benefited from Ferrari strategy errors to win. Red Bull brought Perez and Verstappen in for dry tyres one lap later than Ferrari which allowed the Mexican to take the lead.

Despite pressure from Carlos Sainz in the closing laps, Perez kept his cool to pick up his third career win and second in Red Bull colours. Horner said: “It has been an amazing day for us and an amazing day for Checo, he’s been on it all weekend so it’s a well deserved victory.

“The teamwork and for both of our drivers to pick off a Ferrari was fantastic. Checo is doing a great job this year, in Jeddah he had that amazing pole and the time delta between him and Max has been a lot closer this year.

“To win this race is a deserved victory.

READ MORE: Perez issues perfect response to Brundle after his Horner backing

“Max hasn’t quite had the car where he wanted this weekend, but he’s pleased with that result, he’s beaten Charles and kept his championship lead which was the goal.” The win comes just a week after Red Bull team orders prevented Perez from attempting to keep his race lead.

Verstappen was behind on fresher tyres and was closing at a rapid rate but Red Bull decided to play it safe and tell the Mexican not to hold up the reigning champion After the race, Perez had demanded talks with the team to make clear he still wanted a chance to fight for the championship.

His Monaco win means he is now just 15 points behind Verstappen in the championship which is beginning to turn into a three-way fight.

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After the race, Perez said: “It was really hard for me to think straight after the race, I was full of adrenaline and so much energy going through the race.

“Once I heard my national anthem on the podium here it hit me, it is a dream come true for any driver in the world to tick that box in Monaco and I can just be extremely happy. We were quick all weekend, we kept our heads down and knew today with the right strategy we could make things happen.”



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