Christian Horner says the Mexico City Grand Prix was a big race for Red Bull Racing in both championship battles, with Max Verstappen taking his ninth victory of the season and Sergio Pérez taking a third consecutive top three finish.
Verstappen took the lead at the start having jumped both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton into turn one, and from there on was untouchable as he was able to draw away from his title rival to become the first Honda powered driver to win nine races in a single season.
Horner was pleased with the result and was happy that Bottas was fair to allow Verstappen the space to pass him around the outside heading into turn one.
“Today was a big race and a big team win,” said Horner. “It was a flawless performance from the entire team, from drivers to pitstops to strategy to reliability, it was a really strong team performance.
“Max was phenomenal again today, he found some space at turn one, and I have to say Bottas was very fair and allowed him enough space, and Max made the most of it and was then able to control the race.
“It’s the first time Honda have had a driver win nine races in a year, as Max was tied with Senna on eight, so that’s a great achievement for him and Honda.”
Horner has been pleased with the way Pérez has performed in recent events, and the thirty-one-year-old completed the podium in his home event, the first time a Mexican has done so in Mexico.
“What a weekend it has been for Checo, the first Mexican to lead the home Grand Prix and first to finish on the podium, his third in as many races, is really special,” Horner added.
“He’s found his confidence in the car and his performances are getting stronger and stronger, it’s exactly what we were hoping for from him.”
Next weekend will see the São Paulo Grand Prix and the third of the sprint race weekends of 2021, and Horner says it will be important for Red Bull to continue their strong Mexico pace into the race at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
“Next up is Brazil where it’s a sprint race and we still haven’t won a sprint race weekend yet,” said Horner. “We saw how competitive Mercedes were this weekend, particularly in qualifying, so we are taking nothing for granted.
“There are still 107 points available, it’s a long way to go and there’s a lot of racing left.”