Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner says his team desperately needs Sergio Perez's better performances to be able to help Max Verstappen fight Mercedes, but he understands it will take some more time. Perez had a solid but not spectacular start to his career at Red Bull with only one good qualifier at Imola, and in the other three races he caught up after poor performances on Saturday.
Ironically, only in Imola, where he started second and was faster than Verstappen in qualifying, he did not score points while he was fifth, fourth, and fifth in the other three races. In Spain, he was only eight at the start after a mistake in the first Q3 lap, and in the race, he lost a lot of time behind Ricciardo in McLaren so he could not threaten Leclerc in Ferrari who finished fourth.
“This is not an easy track for overtaking which has made the race more difficult for me,” Perez said. "We had a good first lap and made up for a few positions, but it took me quite a long time to overtake Daniel.
McLaren was extremely fast on the flat, so it was really hard to try to overtake, but I managed from the outside of the first turn. ” “I knew what I needed to do, I pressed and I succeeded, but I didn’t have enough tires after that so it was hard.
I'm getting more and more confident in the car, every time the weekend is over I think 'at least it's starting now' " "Also, every track is different so what I learn here is not the same as what I have to learn in Monaco, but the most important thing is that I still get used to it and hope to be 100% soon."
Horner on his driver
Horner says Perez must get to his maximum as soon as possible to help Verstappen fight Hamilton and Bottas after Hamilton was able to enter boxing a second time after two-thirds of the race without losing his time because Perez was too far away.
“The two leading drivers were so far away from everyone else that Lewis had free entry to boxing as in Hungary ,” Horner said. “You know he just had to overtake his teammate and that was never a problem.
That's why we need both cars at the top so that Mercedes doesn't have that strategic opportunity. ” “I think things are coming into place for him, he had a bad day on Saturday and that made it harder for him to race behind Daniel.
He didn't manage to break through easily on a track where is very difficult to overtake, and we desperately need him to be at that distance so that Mercedes doesn't have the strategic opportunities it had. " "I'm confident that Checo will succeed when he finds more confidence and has more time in the car."