Red Bull: Christian Horner backs Sergio Perez after poor qualifying run in Formula 1
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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has shown his support for driver Sergio Perez in the hopes he will overcome his recent poor qualifying sessions. The team boss has tried to dismiss rumours that the driver will be out of his seat for the 2024 season ahead of the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix.
Perez, 33, has failed to reach Q3 in any of the last five events including two Q1 exits at Silverstone and crashing out in Monaco. This has left the driver on damage limitation exercises on race days and last took a podium in Austria at the end of June.
The driver had previously won two races at the start of the season in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan and was just 14 points behind teammate Max Verstappen in the drivers’ championship after the fifth race. Perez is now 99 points behind his teammate and is still holding second place as the halfway point of the season draws closer.
Horner told the Formula 1 news page: “The way he races… I mean, some of his moves in the race [at Silverstone], the one particularly on Carlos Sainz, was quite stunning into Stow. If you look at his pace in the final stint, he was right there.
“It’s frustrating for him that he’s having to fight back all the time, but he’s just got to sort his qualifying out on Saturday and as a team we’ll do our best to support him on that.
“I think it’s just one of those things. As in sport, all sport, 90% of it is in the head and I think he just needs a good run, and he’ll find his momentum again.”
After four weeks of one-two finishes in the first five races of the 2023 season, Red Bull have since only scored one double podium. The pair were seen together after the Austrian race after Verstappen took first place, with Perez finishing in third.
Horner continued to stress that the whole team was behind the driver, saying: “I think he’s the type of guy that just needs an arm around his shoulder. You work with him and that’s what we’re doing.
“We’re supporting him, we know he can do it, we know he’ll get back there, and we’re just trying to make sure it happens as quickly as possible.”
The update from Horner comes just days after Red Bull’s junior team Alpha Tauri had sacked their driver Nyck De Vries and replaced him with Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo.
There has since been heavy speculation that Ricciardo could replace Perez in the Red Bull seat next season, but it appears the team will continue to support the Mexican driver for the foreseeable future.