Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says there is “nothing” between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in the race for the 2022 F1 Drivers’ Championship and believes both men are equally close to securing the title next November.
Verstappen is the current world champion after beating Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 crown after one of the most intensely contested battles in motorsport history, while Perez is keeping pace with his younger team-mate much more often this time, having played a clear wingman role most recently in his debut season with the team.
Red Bull has won five of the first seven rounds of the 2022 season, leading the Drivers and Constructors Championship and would have been further up the field had it not been for both drivers suffering mechanical failures that saw them retire earlier in the season and lose points.
Perez won the last race in Monaco just over a week ago, taking his third career win, but Verstappen had won the previous three. He has a fifteen-point lead over Perez in the standings, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc sharing the two, nine points behind Verstappen.
‘[Perez] is as much as Max in this championship,” said Horner. “The difference between the two is nothing. He and Max have become much closer this year.’
His improved form at the start of 2022 earned Perez a new contract, announced just before the Monte Carlo race, which will keep him with the team at least until the end of the 2024 season.
Verstappen, 24, believes he and Perez work well together as a couple and insists the increased competition between them will not change the dynamic of their professional relationship.
“Why should it change?” said Verstappen. “We work really well as a team. We’re always trying to optimize the car and work for the team and we can accept when someone is doing a good job or doing a better job and I think that’s very important because you’re so respectful of each other.
“In the end, the best can win, right? Of course we always have [are] We try to do our best on the track, but we also respect each other a lot.
The eighth round of the 2022 F1 season takes place this weekend in Baku, Azerbaijan.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/06/max-verstappen-and-sergio-perez-have-equal-shot-at-2022-f1-title-insists-christian-horner-16778739/ Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have an equal chance at the 2022 F1 title, stresses Christian Horner