Christian Horner quick to defend Sergio Perez: “I think we extended our lead today?”

Christian Horner was pleased Red Bull extended their lead in the constructors' championship in Barcelona.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing on the grid. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola,
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing on the grid. Formula 1 World…

Christian Horner was quick to point out that Red Bull extended their lead in the F1 constructors’ championship despite Sergio Perez’s difficult Spanish Grand Prix.

Perez could only finish eighth in Sunday’s race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Fortunately for Red Bull, Max Verstappen continues to perform at the top of his game, taking his seventh win of the year.

On balance, McLaren had the quicker car on race day, but a good start combined with a crucial overtake on George Russell gave Verstappen a buffer at the front.

Red Bull extended their points leads to 60 points after Barcelona and that was something Horner pointed out when asked about Perez’s poor form.

Points scored at the Spanish GP

Red Bull - 29

Mercedes - 27

McLaren - 25

Ferrari - 18

Speaking to select media including on Sunday, Horner said: “If I’m not mistaken I think we extended our lead today?”

Horner added: “We need Checo in the mix. And he knows that. And the team knows that. And if he’s on the back end of the top eight you lose strategic options, whether you split it or so on, Checo in the first 4/5 races this year was fantastic, we just need to get him back into that headspace.”

Perez’s weekend was always going to be tricky given he had a three-place grid penalty from the previous race.

He was put on a three-stop strategy which allowed him to overtake Alpine’s Pierre Gasly in the closing part of the race.

Horner is hopeful Perez can take “confidence” from his recovery into the points.

“I think that he’s had a couple of difficult races,” he explained. “And things haven’t gone his way, and he’s a confidence driven driver I think, and hopefully he will have taken some… he’s back on the points here, drove a decent race, hopefully he’ll take some confidence out of that for the coming races.”

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