Horner finds himself defending Perez after F1 Spanish GP: “I think that he’s had a couple of difficult races but things haven’t gone his way”

Photo Credits: Red Bull Content Pool
Spread the love

Sergio Perez was always going to find it a challenging race having started Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix with a three-place penalty from the previous race. However, Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner hopes his driver will have found some confidence after finishing P8, which is what the team predicted would be the maximum with a P11 start.

In a post-race written media session after the Spanish Grand Prix, Horner found himself having to defend his driver Sergio Perez. It was put to the man steering the ship at Red Bull Racing that although his team still have a good gap to their rivals in the Constructors’ Championship, with Checo not performing well in the last few races, is Horner worried for the Constructors’ Championship?

As a result of Red Bull Racing leaving Spain with 29 points; Mercedes with 27 points; McLaren with 25 points and Scuderia Ferrari only managing a haul of 18 points, Horner was quick to remind his interviewer: “If I’m not mistaken, I think we extended our lead again today.”

The journalist pressed on though accepting, yes, the team did extend their lead but he also knows that the competition is catching up. Following this, Horner analysed Perez’ race and his hopes for the coming Grand Prix weekends.

“Yeah. Look, we need Checo to start in the mix. And he knows that. And the team knows that. And if he’s on the back end of the top eight, you lose strategic options, whether you split your strategies and so on. So, Checo in the first four or five races this year was fantastic. We just need to get him back into that headspace.”

Such a soundbite did not quell the demand for answers as Horner was then told he had said such a remark for weeks now so what has happened? What has changed for Checo?

“I think that he’s had a couple of difficult races,” Horner admitted. “But, you know, things haven’t gone his way. And he’s a confidence-driven driver, I think. And I think that hopefully he’ll have taken some – he’s back in the points here, he drove a decent race – hopefully, he’ll take some confidence out of that for the coming races.”

Horner also explained that before the race, the team’s simulation had said that P8 was the optimum from 11th on the grid. As a result of achieving that on a three-stop strategy, Horner said: “I hope he [Perez] will take quite a bit of confidence out of that race. And hopefully take that into the next couple of weekends, which are big weekends for him.”

Red Bull Racing need two performing drivers because McLaren certainly looked to have the quicker car on race day in Spain. Red Bull Racing may have extended their lead at the top of the standings to 60 points now but momentum is key. 

Next up is a trip to Red Bull’s home circuit in Austria and their fans and partners will surely be expecting them to put on a dominate display. Perez is no fool and will be aware of this and it would be a timely location for the Mexican driver to get his season back on track.