Christian Horner delivers concerning verdict amidst Sergio Perez’s pace worries

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez staring in the Red Bull garage. Bahrain February 2023

Mexican driver Sergio Perez staring in the Red Bull garage. Bahrain February 2023

Christian Horner has downplayed Sergio Perez’s “something with set-up” complaint with the team boss saying there was nothing “specific” wrong with the driver’s RB19 in Canada.

While Max Verstappen raced from pole position to the victory at the Canadian Grand Prix, the reigning World Champion extending his advantage at the top of the standings to 69 points, Perez was once again off the podium.

Having suffered troubles during qualifying that meant he didn’t break into Q3 for the third race in succession, the driver brought his RB19 home in a mediocre sixth place.

He was left to question his lack of pace.

“We just didn’t have the pace,” he stated. “We did struggle. I think we got hurt massively with the Safety Car, that it came at the wrong moment for us. Luck is not with us at the moment, but it’s how it is at the moment.”

Adding that he was particularly struggling “under braking” and that the “ride hasn’t been great”, he urged Red Bull to “figure out what’s happening, and then come back strong.”

Asked if he could expand on that, he told “Not at the moment. We did something with tyres, something with set-up, a few bits that they need to understand exactly.”

Horner, however, has downplayed talk that there was something wrong with Perez’s car at the Montreal weekend. recommends

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“Certainly, I don’t think there’s anything specific,” said the team boss.

“I think he was struggling like the others to generate tyre temps. So of course, that’s something that Max has always been very strong at with the way he drives the car.

“So I think Checo, he started on the hard tyre, he lost a little bit of touch before the stop on the medium. He had some similar issues to the hard but then had a free gap.

“And that’s where we banged the fastest lap. He was not far off what the simulation suggested, to be honest.”

The team boss all but blamed Perez’s pace, or lack thereof, for the 33-year-old not being able to beat the Ferraris.

“You would have needed a reasonable pace offset but we didn’t have that with Checo,” said Horner.

Although his deficit in the title race is up to 69 points, Perez has refuted Horner’s suggestions he’s no longer a driver under pressure.

“You never have no pressure on you,” he told the official F1 website, “it has been a difficult period but I am here to perform and I need to do that in the next few races.”