Victories for Perez in each Saturday’s dash and Sunday’s grand prix in Azerbaijan left the Mexican simply six factors shy of his team-mate after the primary 4 occasions of the 2023 marketing campaign.
Horner burdened that the group is pleased to see the factors shared out between the duo because it helps to elevate each drivers away from the remainder of the sphere.
He says the sturdy displaying from each drivers will assist create a buffer that can be helpful if rivals enhance their type and Pink Bull’s price cap penalty begins to hit improvement because the season progresses.
“At second it is the 2 of them,” mentioned Horner of the title battle. “There is a slight hole between the remainder of the sphere, however there’s 19 extra races to go, and 5 dash races.
“There’s an enormous quantity of racing and a complete variance of various circuits to undergo, so it may ebb and movement between the 2 of them.
“Reliability can be a key issue. And what we’re extra centered on as effectively in the meanwhile is constructing a buffer with each of the drivers.
Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing, Sergio Perez, Pink Bull Racing
Photograph by: Pink Bull Content material Pool
“As a result of once we get again to Europe, I am positive there’s going to be sizeable upgrades. And, in fact, now we have a decreased capability to develop this 12 months, in order that’s the place our focus is – attempting to construct a spot.”
Horner made it clear that there are not any group orders within the Pink Bull camp and it’s a straight combat between Verstappen and Perez.
“There’s six factors between them after 4 races so yeah, they’re each aggressive drivers,” he mentioned.
“They each need to win, which is why they’re employed by the group. And I feel that it is right down to what they do on the monitor. They had been free to race at present and, all 12 months to date, they have been free.”
Requested if that may proceed additional into the season, Horner added: “Sure, till the group’s pursuits, if you happen to’re competing in opposition to a competitor, turns into greater than the drivers’ pursuits. However, as it’s in the meanwhile, they’re free to race.”
Horner revealed that earlier than the Baku race he reminded each males of the notorious conflict between Verstappen after which team-mate Daniel Ricciardo within the 2018 Azerbaijan GP.
“I feel 2018 is pretty etched on everyone’s reminiscence on this group,” he mentioned. “And it is one thing we mentioned this morning within the briefing, that they are free to race, however we do not need a 2018 replay.
Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing RB14 and Daniel Ricciardo, Pink Bull Racing RB14 crash
Photograph by: Sutton Photos
“And so they pushed one another as arduous as they might, and it was a wonderful margin at present that cut up the 2 of them.”
Horner additionally praised Perez for including one other road race victory to his CV following wins for the group at a number of different non permanent venues, together with Monaco, Singapore and Jeddah.
“Checo is unquestionably residing as much as his nickname of king of the streets or no matter his newest docu-series goes to be known as,” mentioned Horner.
“Clearly, he obtained somewhat bit fortunate with the timing of the security automobile. However, having obtained the lead, he constructed near a four-second lead at one level and managed the race, so he used his alternative, and transformed it into an excellent win.
“You’ve got obtained Max Verstappen behind you. He is not taking it simple. And he was capable of construct up I feel a 3.7 seconds lead at one level. All credit score to Checo, he drove an excellent race at present.
“They had been pushing one another arduous. I feel they had been evaluating occasions that they touched the wall beneath the rostrum there.
“However we allow them to push right through, that was at all times the plan going into the race.”