Perez’s current Red Bull deal runs out at the end of 2024, with his future under constant scrutiny amid his stuttering form.
The Mexican finished a distant second in the drivers’ championship, often struggling to qualify and finish inside the top three despite racing in one of F1’s most dominant cars
Speaking after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Horner stressed the need for Perez to improve his qualifying displays.
“The last few races he’s had a reset,” Horner said. “His pace, if you look at the analysis of this weekend, was very strong.
“He’s just got to sort his Saturdays out. His race pace is strong. His race craft is fantastic.
“He’s probably overtaken more cars than anybody said this year. We just need him to be starting in the first four rather than ninth or 10th, or whatever his average has been over the past few races.”
Horner believes Perez could benefit from the “reset” over the winter months.
“He still finished second in this championship, he won some great races, put in some great drives,” he added. “He knows where his areas to improve are. A little reset in terms of how he goes about his racing.
“He knows it’s a big year for him. He’ll take time this winter to reflect on where he needs to improve and I’m sure he’ll come back fighting next year.”