Christian Horner takes swipe at media over Verstappen v Perez narrative

Max Verstappen could face a hostile reception from the Mexican crowd over the weekend

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has taken a swipe at the media narrative of there being a rivalry between his drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

The relationship between the two Red Bull drivers has been in the spotlight at times since they joined forces in 2021, with the 2022 Brazilian GP a particular flashpoint.

In the main, though, they appear to get on and Red Bull boss Horner has been keen to hammer that home ahead of the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix, after fielding a question about the supposed ‘rivalry’.

“Well, first of all, I need to really disappoint you that there is no rivalry between the two drivers. They actually get on very well,” said Horner to the press.

“And whilst I’m sure the media would love them to be at each other’s throats, unfortunately for you guys, they aren’t. They work very well together, off track and on track, as we’ve seen on many, many occasions.”

Horner discusses #Racepect

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner ahead of 2023 Singapore Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

This weekend, a new initiative has been launched labelled #Racepect, in a bid to combat any booing that a driver may face – after Verstappen was subject to some during the 2023 US GP in Austin.

Indeed, with the Formula 1 circus now in prime Checo territory, it’s possible Verstappen will get a hostile reception from some should he be on the podium on Sunday.

“I think it’s a great initiative, this respect thing that we’ve witnessed on the way into the circuit because it crosses all areas,” Horner said, when asked about #Racepect.

“It’s not just about sport, I think it’s life in general and I think there’s always passion associated with sport, which is great.

“And fans will always have their drivers and their teams that they support and there’s going to be incredible support for Checo here as there has been for Max in Zandvoort and in Belgium, for example, or the British drivers in Silverstone.

“I mean, Manchester City play Manchester United this weekend, and I’m sure there’s going to be a pretty vocal crowd there in the UK.

“I’m expecting great support for for Checo and the team, but respect above everything is important.”

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