Horner Emphasizes After 'Anomaly' Weekend That Red Bull Needs Perez 'Supporting Max'

Tuesday, 21 May 2024 at 14:00
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Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner discussed Sergio Perez's performance following the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Last weekend's race at Imola Circuit was Perez's worst result this season. Red Bull struggled with its setup throughout all the practice sessions before qualifying.
Although Verstappen made it look like the Austrian team was able to dial in their setup in the end, Perez couldn't really match the pace of Ferrari, McLaren, or even Mercedes in qualifying and the Grand Prix race on Sunday.
The 34-year-old didn't make it out of Q2 on Saturday, so he had to start the race from P11. Imola is the second most challenging circuit of the season when it comes to overtaking, so it was tough for Checo from then on. Christian Horner told Sky F1:

"It was a shame for Checo, effectively being out of kilter following qualifying. We ran the reverse strategy with him. He got P8 at the end, and seventh, theoretically, was the best that we could see on our analysis before the race."

In the meantime, Verstappen started from the pole and fought for his life to bring home the victory for the team from Milton Keynes, just seven-tenths ahead of Lando Norris in McLaren.
It might have been a more comfortable race for Red Bull if Perez had been there to help out his teammate. The team principal continued:

"We obviously need him up there supporting Max in the same way the two Ferraris and the two McLarens are together. I think he has had a much better start to this year bar this weekend, which has been an anomaly."

"He's been very, very strong and I think that his approach has been more relaxed, less focused on what Max is doing, just focusing on himself. I think he's responded to that."

It will be interesting to watch how Perez recovers going into the next rounds of the season. Red Bull doesn't have the Constructors' Championship title secured, and if the Mexican driver can't deliver repeatedly, Ferrari or even McLaren might still become a real threat.