Christian Horner says it was never a consideration to extend Sergio Perez’s first stint at the Portuguese Grand Prix to disrupt Lewis Hamilton.

Perez ran until lap 51 of 66 on his initial set of medium tyres and led for 13 laps after the trio who were well clear of him – Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and his own Red Bull team-mate, Max Verstappen – had made their solitary pit-stop.

The Mexican, who started fourth on the grid, had lost ground in the first half of the race after being overtaken by Lando Norris.

But as eventual winner Hamilton, on much fresher hard tyres, closed in on Perez, it crossed the minds of some observers that Red Bull were possibly leaving the 31-year-old out longer than planned to hold up the World Champion and push him back towards the pursuing Verstappen.

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