Christian Horner teases Nico Rosberg after ‘statement drive’ from Sergio Perez

Sam Cooper
Sergio Perez lifts his P3 trophy. Hungary, July 2023.

Sergio Perez lifts his P3 trophy. Hungary, July 2023.

Christian Horner teased that Sergio Perez’s performance in Hungary was so good that even Nico Rosberg would have to praise it.

Having broken his Q3 drought, Perez started P9 but made up for it with a superb drive full of aggression.

The Mexican was rewarded with his second podium in the last six races and said after the race that a top three finish was his minimum target for the rest of the season.

Another man pleased with Perez’s drive was team boss Horner who also had a record 12th consecutive win to celebrate. That gave him the perfect opportunity for a little gloating shortly after the chequered flag.

He lined up alongside Rosberg, who in his punditry role with Sky Sports, has often been at ends with Horner as to Perez’s performance and the Red Bull boss being as he is, was never going to forget former indiscretions.

“I think he drove a great race today,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “I think that his overtaking was brave, his pace was fast. The way he made the places, passing Carlos [Sainz], passing Fernando [Alonso], passing [Oscar] Piastri,

“He was on fire today and I think I think even Nico would have to agree with that.”

Rosberg did respond to the jibe, saying “that was very funny Christian” before suggesting that Horner and Red Bull’s engineers work to make Perez always feel that comfortable in the car.

As for the other driver, Verstappen’s victory brought back Horner’s early memories of the sport.

“As a young kid, I remember watching the McLarens of [Alain] Prost and [Ayrton] Senna achieving that incredible feat that we’ve now bettered.

“They were an incredible team. Ron Dennis was an incredible team principal and the thing that we’ve now bettered, that is something that the whole team here in Budapest and in Milton Keynes has worked so hard for and will mean so much.”

In regards to Verstappen, Horner noted that he was “a driver totally at one with the car.”

“I think he’s a driver totally at one with himself and at one with the car,” Horner said.

“[He has] total confidence and trust in the team. That’s what we’re witnessing with him at the moment, a sportsman absolutely at the top of his game and he’s a joy to work with.”