Christian Horner responds to “brutally hard question” about faith in Sergio Perez

"We thought the contract would help..."

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, British Grand Prix,
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1…

Christian Horner admits that under-fire Sergio Perez has “pressure to deliver”.

Red Bull’s second driver arrived at this weekend’s F1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone knowing that, despite his brand-new contract, his future at the team is being debated again.

Perez has scored just 11 points in the past four grands prix, sparking questions about whether Red Bull gave him a new contract too prematurely.

Team principal Horner was asked if he wishes Red Bull had not signed Perez up already.

“That’s a brutally hard question,” he responded to Sky Sports.

“Of course, at the point you sign a driver the contents of any agreement are not going to be disclosed with the likes of you lot.

“It made absolute sense to sign Sergio at that point in time.

“This is a business where there’s pressure to deliver.”

He continued: “Sergio’s had a tough spell and his first five races were very competitive. It’s the last five have been nowhere.

“We want to see the Sergio from the first five back. He knows that. He’s aware of that.

“He’s been working hard on that. He’s been in the sim this week. He’s working hard to understand where it’s not just playing out for him.

“What we’ve constantly seen with him is that resilience to bounce back. We’re hoping to see that very soon.”

Perez’s dip in form is reminiscent of last year when he went through a barren spell which threatened his status as Max Verstappen’s teammate.

“Well, that’s why we thought the contract would help,” Horner admitted.

“I think it’s something Checo is working very hard on. He knows.

“This is a sport where there’s no hiding. Particularly with Max Verstappen as your teammate, he knows he’s been measured against the very best.

“We need him up there supporting Max because there’s two McLarens, two Ferraris, two Mercedes, we desperately need there to be two Red Bulls.”

Three times in the first four rounds of this season, Perez finished P2 behind Verstappen to deliver the dream result for Red Bull.

Coupled with a bad start by prospective replacement Daniel Ricciardo, Perez was able to unexpectedly strengthen his position in F1’s dominant car.

But he failed to finish in Canada and Monaco, then finished P8 and P7 in Spain and Austria respectively.

Although he is somewhat protected by the contract he signed when things were going smoothly, Perez will know it cannot save him if his form does not turn around soon.

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