Christian Horner clarifies his Sergio Perez head shake seen around the world

Michelle Foster
A downbeat Christian Horner holds his hand to his head

Sergio Perez's form is causing a headache for Red Bull team boss Christian Horner

Christian Horner has downplayed his shake of the head when Sergio Perez beached his RB20 in qualifying, saying that wasn’t so much about the Mexican driver as his frustration that Red Bull “aren’t performing”.

Perez brought out the red flags in Q1 for the British Grand Prix when he lost control of his car at Copse in greasy conditions and spun into the gravel.

Christian Horner: That’s where we’re at…

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher and Sam Cooper

The mistake meant that Perez qualified in 19th place which prompted Red Bull to break parc fermé conditions to fit his RB20 with a new power unit.

Starting from the pit lane, Perez wasn’t able to make inroads and finished a lowly P17, extending his streak of races off the podium to seven, starting after April’s Chinese Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen, meanwhile, raced from fourth to second for his ninth top-three result of the championship.

Perez’s failure to score points came amidst yet more speculation about the driver’s future as PlanetF1.com understands Red Bull are not ruling out a potential mid-season seat swap between Perez and Daniel Ricciardo.

But caught on camera shaking his head after Perez beached his car on Saturday, Horner says that wasn’t so much about Perez as Red Bull’s struggles to perform “collectively” in qualifying.

“Of course, it is frustration when both of your cars aren’t performing you know collectively,” he told the media at Silverstone, including PlanetF1.com.

“It was frustrating to lose Checo in Q1. He missed P1 because of Isack Hadjar driving, he had a decent P2. We felt that he should have been around the top six and then to lose the car in Q1 was very frustrating. That’s where we’re at.”

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Sunday’s race result meant that although Red Bull extended their advantage in both championships, McLaren, who are third in the Constructors’ Championship, again ate into their advantage as both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri scored strong points.

“They took seven points out of us today and it’s something that we’re acutely aware of, that to win the Constructors’ Championship you need both cars scoring,” Horner said.

The team boss, though, has yet to decide what approach he’s going to take to encourage Perez.

“Every driver is different,” he said. “Some drivers need an arm around the shoulder and some need a kick up the arse and sometimes it varies from week to week.”

As for Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, he opted to keep his thoughts largely to himself in the immediate aftermath of the Grand Prix.

“Perez started from the pit lane and then we wanted him to do the fastest lap and that didn’t work out either,” he told Sky Deutschland. “It wasn’t a great weekend.”

The not-great weekend saw Perez slip to sixth in the Drivers’ Championship where he trails Verstappen by 137 points. According to reports, if he’s 100 behind his team-mate after the Belgian Grand Prix, there is a clause that will allow Red Bull to replace him for the remainder of the season.

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