Christian Horner Happy with Sergio Perez's Performance, But Sends Warning Message

“And he knows he’s out of contract for next year, it’s his seat to lose, he’s very popular in the team, and he’s started the season in the best possible way.”

by Sead Dedovic
Christian Horner Happy with Sergio Perez's Performance, But Sends Warning Message
© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal, is happy with what Red Bull is achieving this season, with optimism that they can maintain the same pace in the upcoming races. Before the start of the season, it was already predicted that Red Bull could dominate this season as well, just like the previous ones, but confirmation was necessary. However, it turned out that the predictions were indeed accurate. 

This brilliant Austrian team has continued from where they left off, with Max Verstappen showing no intention of giving the leading position to anyone. 

His teammate, Sergio Perez, is under question regarding his future in this team. After a previously challenging season, the Mexican entered this one with a different mindset and quite greater ambitions. His performances at the beginning of this season have already thrilled the fans of F1 and Red Bull. Perez looks impressive, and it seems like he could remain a part of this team next season. 

However, will that happen? Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, after the race in Japan where Perez satisfied the team's executives, emphasized that he is pleased with Perez's confidence, who is focused on achieving success this season. Although Perez's contract expires at the end of the season, Christian believes that Perez is giving his all to secure a seat for the next season.

“I think his confidence is high, he’s very focused on the job at hand, and he’s comfortable in the team,” Horner said, as quoted by CRASH!

“And he knows he’s out of contract for next year, it’s his seat to lose, he’s very popular in the team, and he’s started the season in the best possible way.”

Finishing second in Suzuka, 12 seconds behind Verstappen, his performance is far from poor. Christian Horner stresses this was a strong weekend for Perez. Horner is satisfied with the race pace and expects the same from Perez in the future. Although at times Horner may have thought that Perez may not have made the best decision, the Mexican has convinced Horner that every decision he makes is calculated.

I thought Checo in particular has had a strong weekend. To qualify within a tenth of his teammate here.

Race pace was strong obviously, he had the disadvantage of having to come back through the traffic.

There were a couple of moments where, I must admit, I had my eyes shut as he went into 130R… do you need to do it there? Can’t you wait until the straight?

He didn’t look like he had three kids when he made that move!”- Christian Horner said.

Christian Horner
Christian Horner© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

Last year, Perez had a disappointing performance in Japan, leading many to expect a similar outcome this time. Perez decided to dispel any doubts and confirm that he is a driver capable of turning things in his favor, having faith in himself and his success. In a media interview, Sergio Perez highlighted that this was a good weekend for him.

Sergio Perez on his team's performance

Perez reflected on the team's performance, stressing that it was a good weekend overall. He mentioned the challenges of maintaining focus during the restart and admitted that while his second start was better, it wasn't enough to overtake Max Verstappen. Perez mentioned that the team struggled with balance in the first stint, leading to a loss of pace and ultimately necessitating an early pit stop. 

This decision resulted in being undercut by Lando Norris. Despite pushing too hard on the medium tires, Perez found more comfort and pace on the hard compound, indicating that the team faced difficulties due to the initial stint's imbalance.

The Mexican driver confirmed that this race has sparked optimism for him, even regarding Shanghai, aware that that race could also be perfect for him. Having such momentum is fantastic for him, and his intentions are to enter the next race just as motivated as before. Reflecting on last year's race in Suzuka, Perez emphasized that it was likely his worst race, but he believes that his team's strength in places like Suzuka, with lots of high-speed corners, indicates that they can be strong on other tracks as well. We will see in the next race whether Sergio can be equally impressive.

Red Bull executives have reasons to be happy, considering that both drivers are impressing so far. Max Verstappen is someone everyone expects to replicate the same success as in the 2023 season. The Dutchman's quality, confidence, and passion indicate that he will likely achieve the same success as last season. Verstappen enters each race motivated, believing that he will once again lift the trophy.

Christian Horner Sergio Perez