Horner: Pérez “sometimes puts a little bit too much pressure on himself” to match Verstappen

Spread the love

Sergio Pérez had a rollercoaster weekend at the Red Bull Ring.

Friday was a complete disaster for the Mexican as three track limit strikes on all of his qualifying laps in Q2 left him down in P15 for Sunday’s race. However, the 33-year-old produced a really strong drive yesterday to finish on the podium in 3rd as he put on an overtaking clinic.

Christian Horner spoke about Checo’s race when asked if he redeemed himself following yesterday’s brilliance.

“I think the frustration is that’s what we knew he was capable of. I think the analytics will show that his pace in the race was very strong. He redeemed himself with a good drive, but he didn’t need to have it nearly as hard as that.

“He did a good job yesterday and a good job today. It was just Friday that was frustrating.”

Pérez struggled in the damp conditions in the sprint compared to Verstappen. Although he finished 2nd, the pace differential was quite extreme. The Mexican finished 21s behind his teammate at the end of the 24-lap showdown.

Nonetheless, Horner believed Pérez’s pace in the main race held in the dry was very competitive. The Mexican’s only issue was that he started down in 15th and had to work his way through traffic for most of it.

“I actually think if you look at his pace particularly when he got clear air his pace was fine.

“The bottom line is when you start down in 15th or so, with the amount of time you lose coming through the traffic, you’ve lost touch with the leaders. That’s what took away any chance of a victory for him today.

“But his recovery was outstanding.”

Pérez’s fourth successive Q2 elimination on Friday was far from ideal for him as he sees his title hopes slip away. Horner believes his driver is putting himself under too much pressure at times.

“I think on Friday, of course, you talk about things as a team, as a group. I think sometimes he just puts a little bit too much pressure on himself.”

On how Pérez can ease the stress, Horner replied: “Some races like today.”

P2 in the sprint and P3 in yesterday’s race leaves Pérez trailing Verstappen by 81 points in the Drivers’ Championship with nine rounds completed.

Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool