Christian Horner casts his judgement on latest Sergio Perez performance

Henry Valantine
Christian Horner and Max Verstappen discuss together ahead of the United States Grand Prix.

Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal.

Christian Horner believes Sergio Perez drove “brilliantly well” in Brazil over the weekend, after missing out on a podium by the barest margin on Sunday.

He qualified ninth after a late yellow flag scuppered a second run on Friday, before taking third place in the Sprint and working his way through the field on Sunday.

His battle with Fernando Alonso in the closing stages was the highlight of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, but Alonso’s cunning defence followed by a re-pass on the Red Bull driver on the final lap saw him hold him off at the line by just 0.053 seconds.

Christian Horner praises Sergio Perez for Brazil performance

Perez saw his advantage over Lewis Hamilton for second place in the World Championship extend over the course of the weekend as a result of his performances, with Horner having set his sights on Red Bull claiming a one-two in the Drivers’ standings – which would be a first for the team.

He praised the Mexican for how he went about his racing against Alonso, with both drivers having spoken warmly of one another for how they diced in the closing stages as well.

But given the pace he had to recover through the field, Horner was pleased with what he saw from his driver over the weekend.

“Checo, I thought he drove brilliantly well today,” Horner told reporters after the chequered flag at Interlagos.

“I mean, he had a little bit of a wobble at [Turn] 2 which allowed Fernando, who was very quick on the straights today, to have a go at him.

“He did his best to hang on to it but I think for Checo to outscore Lewis by 12 points this weekend, it’s been a very strong weekend for him.

“A third yesterday, fourth from ninth from the grid with the yellow flag we got in quali, I think, has been very good points for him.

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“I think Checo obviously had to take quite a lot out of his tyres, starting from ninth on the grid coming through the traffic, and he did a very good job with that.

“So when on the soft tyre, particularly at the end, you could see he was quicker but Fernando’s a wily old fox and just positioned the car very, very well.

“And it was great racing between the two of them, it really was entertaining to see the two going wheel to wheel like that.

“I think that was the Checo today that we know what he’s capable of, and that’ll give him just the boost he needs going into another street track, that he’s always performed well at, out in Vegas, and then Abu Dhabi one week after.”

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