Perez lacklustre performance in Imola ‘just a blip’ - Horner


Red Bull team boss Christian Horner defended Sergio Perez’s lacklustre performance in Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, in which the Mexican was never in the mix for a spot on the podium.

The usually reliable Red Bull driver crashed in practice, missed qualifying's crucial Q3 session, and sputtered to an underwhelming eighth-place finish in the race itself.

This seemingly uninspired display, that included a costly mid-race off-track excursion, had some questioning whether Perez was on top of his game at Imola.

But Horner reckoned that Perez’s result was only slightly below what the team had expected from the Mexican given his lowly P11 starting position on the grid.

“Our simulations were saying before the race that P7 was potentially optimal and nothing happened, no Safety Cars or anything like that,” Horner explained after the race.

“He had one trip through the gravel that cost him about six seconds. But I think that was about the maximum that he could take from that grid position today.”

Recently, both Horner and Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko praised Perez for his string of solid performances since the beginning of the team’s 2024 campaign, suggesting that the 34-year-old results boded well for his chances of retaining his seat with the team in 2025.

Horner reckoned that Perez’s weak weekend at Imola was but a one-off under-performance in an otherwise strong season year-to-date.

“I think it’s just a blip. He’s always gone well at Monaco, so we will see,” Horner added.

“It’s a 24-race calendar. He’s had a great start to the year. His approach has been very strong. He’s changed his approach a bit this year and today’s result was dictated by yesterday’s qualifying.”


Queried once again on Perez’s future, which the Mexican hopes will be sealed sooner rather than later, Horner suggested that Red Bull is still biding its time.

“The whole driver market is playing itself out and we know exactly where we are at and what our options are,” he said. “In the timing that’s right for us we’ll make decisions about the future.

The Briton did not anticipate any complications regarding Perez’s situation with the team or any potential contract negotiations.

“Checo’s always a very straightforward guy to deal with, so I wouldn’t expect that to be an issue,” Horner concluded.

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