Horner advises Perez to ‘take the pressure off’. After the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Red Bull driver Sergio Perez can only observe how the gap between him and his team-mate in the world championship continues to widen race after race.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes that Sergio Perez needs to take the pressure off himself now that the Mexican is more than 50 points behind team-mate Max Verstappen after Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
While the gap in the championship between the two Red Bull drivers was reduced to just a few points at the start of the season, Sergio Perez has gradually lost ground on his team-mate, particularly after the Australian Grand Prix, where he had a very complicated weekend but still finished fifth, and more recently in Monaco, where the Mexican failed to score a single point following a qualifying error which left him in a very poor position on Sunday.
This weekend in Barcelona, Perez was counting on the Spanish Grand Prix to collect as many points as possible and get back in touch with Max Verstappen in the world championship, but once again the Red Bull driver made a small mistake in qualifying, which forced him to start from eleventh on the grid on Sunday.
In the race, the pace of his Red Bull RB19 enabled him to move up the order and Sergio Perez finally crossed the finish line at the foot of the podium in fourth place, 35 seconds behind his team-mate Max Verstappen, winner of the seventh round of the season.
Sergio Perez therefore “limited the damage” on Sunday at the Spanish Grand Prix, retaining second place in the world championship, but the gap to leader Max Verstappen is now 53 points, the equivalent of two victories, with Fernando Alonso just 18 points behind him.
Horner gives crucial advice
Asked after the Spanish Grand Prix about Sergio Perez’s situation, Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes that the Mexican must now remove any unnecessary pressure and just concentrate on his driving if he hopes to catch up with his team-mate who “is at the top of his game“.
“Being Max Verstappen’s team-mate doesn’t take anything away. I don’t think there’s a driver out there today who could have beaten Max with his car,” said Horner on Sunday evening in Barcelona.
“So he [Sergio Perez] is up against a driver who is at the top of his game, and that’s very difficult. Mentally, it’s a difficult thing to deal with, but now that there’s a certain gap in the points, it can actually take some of the pressure and expectations off him.”
“I think now he needs to free himself from that [pressure] and be free to drive,” concluded the Red Bull team boss.
Perez given support, for now…
As we know, Formula 1 – and more particularly the Red Bull clan – is ruthless with drivers who do not deliver the expected performances. For the moment, Sergio Perez seems to have the support of his team, but the situation could quickly turn sour for him if his results do not improve.
After the Spanish Grand Prix, Red Bull still leads the Constructors’ World Championship by a comfortable 135 points from Mercedes, but the German manufacturer’s team is starting to show signs of improvement following the introduction of new parts on the W14 which seem to be working rather well.