Horner: Perez will need to ‘come back strong’ in Barcelona


Christian Horner reiterated his call for Red Bull to have both of its drivers scoring solid points, a command justified by the dismal weekend – the second one in succession – suffered by Sergio Perez.

In Canada, Max Verstappen returned to the top step of the podium after his Monaco hiatus, but Perez was no where to be seen among the top contenders.

The Mexican’s first misstep occurred in qualifying when he was unable to get his RB20 up to speed in Q1, which left him a lowly 16th on Sunday’s grid.

But in the first half of the race, progress was hard to come by for Perez who could not extricate himself from the lower tier of the field.

He eventually managed to move up to P13 before spinning on a patch of wet tarmac at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit’s Turn 6, a mishap that damaged his car’s rear wing and signaled his retirement, his second DNF in succession after his Monaco opening lap crash.

Handed a new two-year contract by Red Bull ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix for his strategic value and ability to support Verstappen in the championship fight, Perez is already in dire need of recapturing his early season form.

“It was a horrible weekend for Checo and obviously, we picked up some damage,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “He’ll need to come back strong in Barcelona.

“Thankfully, Ferrari had a shocker and didn’t get any points so that let us off the hook somewhat, but we need both cars scoring.

“We got away with it today, but we need Checo back up there where he was at the beginning of the year from Barcelona onwards.”


In the past, Perez’s slumps have often been short-lived, although there have also been cases where the Mexican has struggled to regain his footing. Horner is confident the first scenario will prevail.

“What we see with Checo time and time again is that when you think he’s on the ropes, he bounces back,” added the Red Bull chief.

“He’s a tough racer and he’s a tough character and it hurts him more than anybody else.

“He’ll be determined to come back and show everybody the form we know he’s capable of and that he showed in the first four races of this year.”

Sky F1’s Martin Brundle noted that Verstappen’s win in Montreal shed an even dimmer light on Perez’s plight.

“Despite all the challenges with weather, rivals, and Safety Cars, peerlessly emerging through it all for his 60th F1 victory was Verstappen,” Brundle wrote in his post-race column for Sky F1.

“Behind him was a long story of ‘Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda’, to quote the fabulous Beverley Knight, but the reigning World Champion simply did.

“That made newly re-signed Sergio Perez’s dismal weekend in the other Red Bull even worse.

“He qualified badly, had a front wing damaging skirmish in turn 2, didn’t progress much, then span off into retirement.


Unfortunately, Perez already has his work cut out for him in Barcelona. After last weekend’s race, he was summoned to the stewards and hit with a three-place grid drop for the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix for driving a "significantly damaged" car back to the pits.

Red Bull Racing were also fined €25,000 over the incident.

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