Christian Horner on the defensive after Sergio Perez disappoints once again

F1 Grand Prix of Spain
Sergio Perez and Christian Horner talk in the garage prior to the 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner recently defended Sergio Perez after the latter's subpar performance at the 2024 F1 Spanish GP. The Mexican driver finished the race in P9, while his teammate, Max Verstappen, won the race.

Ever since Sergio Perez started racing for Red Bull, he has been slower than Verstappen in most races. In 2021, he helped Verstappen and Red Bull to fight against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes. In 2022, his performance dipped and he finished third in the drivers' championship while Verstappen won his second world title. In 2023, Checo finished second in the table but still was not able to beat the Dutchman.

Coming into 2024, Sergio Perez started off the season with decent performances, finishing right behind Max Verstappen. However, as Ferrari and McLaren drivers started picking up the pace, Checo experienced yet another dip in his performance. Despite this dip, Red Bull has extended the Mexican's contract by two years, securing him till 2026.

In the Spanish GP, Perez managed to qualify in Q3 but only secured P8. Before the race, he was given a three-place grid penalty which dropped him down to P11. From there, the Red Bull driver only managed to secure P8 at the end of the race.

Speaking to the media after the race, Christian Horner was asked whether the team is worried about Perez's performance after having extended his contract recently. The British honcho replied that the team extended their lead in the Constructors' Championship in Spain.

Horner went on to say that the team needs to build Sergio Perez's confidence for him to get back near the top of the grid. The Red Bull team principal hopes that a points finish in Spain will have boosted the driver's morale.

“If I’m not mistaken we extended our lead again today. And if he’s on the back end of the top eight, you lose strategic options, whether you split your strategies and so on. Checo in the first four or five races this year was fantastic. We just need to get him back into that headspace,” Horner said.
“I think that he’s had a couple of different races. Things haven’t gone his way and he’s a confidence-driven driver. He was back in the points, he drove a decent race, and hopefully he’ll take some confidence out of that for the coming races out. He works with a team of specialists so I’m sure he’s focused across all areas,” he added.

Sergio Perez's verdict on the 2024 F1 Spanish GP after finishing P8

Sergio Perez was not happy with his race at the 2024 F1 Spanish GP. The Mexican started the race from P11 and finished in P8, while his teammate Max Verstppen won his 61st Grand Prix.

Speaking to F1.com, he claimed that the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was one of the hardest tracks to overtake on, especially due to lots of dirty air damaging the tires. He added that he tried everything in order to secure points.

"I think, it's probably one of the hardest places to overtake. It's where you damage your tires the most in dirty air. So, pretty disappointed, but I think given how we started, I think it was pretty much the maximum we could do. We had to really fight hard to get us points because the race was not necessarily favored us," Perez said.

After the Spanish GP, Sergio Perez is in fifth place on the Drivers' Championship table with 111 points. On the other hand, Max Verstappen leads the table with 219 points.

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Edited by Aayush Kapoor
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