Christian Horner's Call to Sergio Perez: Rise to Early Season Glory

In the wake of a lackluster performance at the Qatar Grand Prix, Christian Horner, Red Bull Team Principal, has beckoned Sergio Perez to regain the momentum he flaunted earlier in the 2023 season

by Faruk Imamovic
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Christian Horner's Call to Sergio Perez: Rise to Early Season Glory
© Getty Images Sport/Mark Thompson

In the wake of a lackluster performance at the Qatar Grand Prix, Christian Horner, Red Bull Team Principal, has beckoned Sergio Perez to regain the momentum he flaunted earlier in the 2023 season. The recent events painted a stark contrast from the explosive prowess Perez exhibited at the season's commencement.

A Rough Weekend in Qatar

Qatar’s race weekend proved tumultuous for Perez. After failing to progress beyond Q2 during qualifying, a collision during the Sprint with both Esteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg dashed his chances further.

The culmination of his woes arrived when he placed 10th in Sunday’s race, racking up a staggering 15-second penalty for breaching track limits. Upon reflecting on Perez’s performance, Horner didn’t mince words in his conversation with Sky Sports, asserting, “Checo’s had a bit of a shocker of a race.

Without those penalties, I mean you add 15 seconds to his times, suddenly he’s a lot further up the points scoring on a day that Lewis [Hamilton] didn’t score”. With the challenges faced in Qatar fresh in his mind, Horner emphatically stressed the need for Perez to rekindle his early-season spark. “We just need to get that form that he showed at the beginning of the season back.

We know he’s got it within him”.

A Crucial Juncture Ahead of the 2024 Season

While the immediate focus remains on bouncing back in the next races, Horner also expressed his apprehensions about the future. As the 2024 season looms, Perez's form will play a pivotal role, especially when contrasted with rival teams' dynamic driver duos.

Horner remarked on the synergy displayed by other teams, noting the intense competition among drivers within teams like Mercedes and Ferrari. “You can see the other teams are working as a pair, and sometimes that becomes a bit confrontational, but Mercedes – it’s very tight between their pair," observed Horner.

He also highlighted Oscar Piastri’s impressive rookie performance, maintaining pace with the likes of Lando Norris. The implication was clear: Perez's contribution will be invaluable in the upcoming season. Horner’s final thoughts resonated the team's expectation: "We really need Checo to get into that window because, not this year so much, but certainly next year we need him to be firing on all cylinders”.

Christian Horner Qatar Red Bull
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