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Horner reveals Perez "sacrifice" that aided Verstappen qualifying bid

Horner reveals Perez "sacrifice" that aided Verstappen qualifying bid

F1 News

Horner reveals Perez "sacrifice" that aided Verstappen qualifying bid

Horner reveals Perez "sacrifice" that aided Verstappen qualifying bid

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed Sergio Perez "sacrificed half a second" by punching a hole in the air for Max Verstappen in qualifying at Monza.

Both Perez and Valtteri Bottas played the team game for their championship-chasing team-mates Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

On the first lap in Q3, AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly and Perez, in particular, both hauled along Verstappen, at that stage leaving him within 0.017secs of Hamilton.

Perez again towed the Dutch driver on the second lap, and although there was no improvement, he had done enough on the first run that means Verstappen will line up third behind an all-Mercedes front row surprisingly spearheaded by Bottas.

As Perez was unable to take advantage of any tow of his own, the Mexican will start from ninth for the 100km, 18-lap sprint.

"I have to say, Checo played a key role as a team player to give his team-mate a tow and help Max get into that position because I think we were vulnerable to the McLarens," Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“Max up there in P3, Checo probably sacrificed half a second so probably should have been higher than where he is but we’re pretty happy with that result.”

With Verstappen starting the sprint behind the two Mercedes, Horner commented he could pick up a favourable tow into the first chicane.

“What’s interesting is the run down to turn one," he added. "Max is on the right side of the grid, will hopefully pick up a tow on the run down to turn one so it puts even more emphasis [on the start].

“I’m sure Lewis would have probably preferred to have been on the left than the right so it’s going to make it a really exciting sprint race which, of course, is effectively the qualifier.”

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