Red Bull boss Christian Horner fully believes Sergio Perez can return to form, with “support” the way instead of threats over his future.
Perez’s season got off to the ideal start as he claimed two wins in the opening four rounds, and with team-mate Max Verstappen’s Championship lead standing at only six points after Perez’s win in Baku, the Mexican racer was being talked about as a potential title contender.
In recent races though it has all gone wrong for Perez who is without a podium finish in this last three attempts, while Verstappen has gone on a run of four wins in a row to establish a buffer of 69 points over Perez.
Such has been Perez’s alarming drop in form that question marks have emerged over his long-term future at Red Bull, though Horner, like Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has also done, clarified that Red Bull are not assessing other options and will give Perez the “support” he needs to get back on the right path.
“I think he just needs a good weekend to just lift his confidence,” said Horner, as per Motorsport.com.
“I think he’s had three difficult weekends, three difficult Saturdays, that then puts you on the backfoot on a Sunday. And we’ve seen what Checo is capable of, only a month or two ago.
“And I think he just needs to have a strong weekend to find that confidence. And then I’ve got no doubt he’ll be back.
“He is second in the World Championship at the moment. He’s the only other driver to have won two races other than Max this year.
“So yeah, we need to support him through this period. And I’m sure he’ll find his form again soon.”
Red Bull have options if Sergio Perez’s struggles continue
In recent years the Red Bull Junior Team has not been in its greatest state of health, but now there are options within the Red Bull fold again which means the team can shuffle their driver line-ups around if they wish.
Daniel Ricciardo, who returned to Red Bull as a reserve driver for F1 2023, represents the most like-for-like option if they still wanted a driver of Perez’s profile, Ricciardo a veteran of the sport with race-winning experience at Red Bull.
Yuki Tsunoda meanwhile is impressing with sister team AlphaTauri as he navigates his third season there, and Red Bull could decide to give him his shot in the second Red Bull seat.
Red Bull juniors Ayumu Iwasa and Liam Lawson are waiting in the wings for an AlphaTauri opportunity.
Perez will likely be afforded a good deal more time to turn his form around, and rightly so, but there is surely only so long Red Bull can stomach him struggling in the cockpit of what is the utterly dominant challenger on the Formula 1 grid.