Christian Horner shoved a Sky Sports reporter into a swimming pool as Red Bull celebrated Sergio Perez’s victory at the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Mexican claimed just his third F1 victory after taking advantage of a strategy error from Charles Leclerc and Ferrari in Monte-Carlo. Perez was challenged by Carlos Sainz in a dramatic ending to the shortened race, which failed to reach the full distance of 78 laps after a series of lengthy delays, but held his rival at bay to claim a priceless win.
The victory saw Perez move to within 15 points of team-mate Max Verstappen at the top of the Driver Championship standings and also helped Red Bull push on in their battle with Ferrari for the Constructors’ Championship.
Although Verstappen was denied second place, it was a significant day for Red Bull as Leclerc dropped vital points and missed out on a podium finish despite starting on pole. Red Bull were in a celebratory mood after the race and were seen posing for pictures around a swimming pool.
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Sky Sports’ F1 reporter Craig Slater was interviewing Horner about Sunday’s result when suddenly the Red Bull boss pushed him into a swimming pool in what appeared to be a staged event for the cameras. Slater swam around in the pool for a few seconds as the Red Bull team laughed before climbing out to grab another word with Horner.
Asking him about Red Bull’s imperious form, Horner seemed to confirm he had planned to push Slater in the pool. He said: “A win in Monaco is always very special and to get this race – it’s our sixth Monaco victory – with ‘Checo’, you know it was an unbelievable day and hopefully, common sense will prevail on Max and well done for being a good sport.”
Slater, soaking wet, then promised: “I will get you back one day.” Horner’s comment on Verstappen was in reference to Ferrari’s protest against the Dutchman following the Monaco GP. Ferrari, who also lodged a protest against Perez, have since seen both of them thrown out after the two Red Bull drivers were summoned to the stewards. Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto was incensed after the race and claimed both Red Bulls crossed the yellow line when leaving the pits in an attempt to stay ahead of Sainz and Leclerc.
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He said: “We are disappointed because we believe there was a clear breach of regulations on the two Red Bulls going on the yellow line exiting the pit,” Binotto told Sky Sports F1.
“I think it was not close, it was on the line. If you look at the intonation of the sporting code it is saying crossing, but we had a clarification in Turkey in 2020 to avoid any discussions and if you look at the race driver notes it indicates staying to the right.
“So, being on the line is breaching the race director notes and I think each single team has a duty and a task to follow the race director notes. So for us, that is something unclear and we are still seeking clarification from the FIA and we will be happy to have as soon as possible our feedback.”
Leclerc, meanwhile, has demanded talks after a Ferrari pit-stop cost him his place at the front on the grid. He said after finishing a disappointing fourth: “There’s been too many mistakes today overall.
“We cannot do that, especially in the moment we are in now, we are extremely strong, our pace is strong, we need to take those opportunities. We cannot lose so many points like this, it’s not even from first to second, it’s from first to fourth because after the first mistakes we have done another one.”