Horner: Red Bull ‘in a good place’ with current drivers

Date published: August 20 2021 - Henry Valantine

Sergio Perez celebrates. Azerbaijan June 2021

Christian Horner has said the current driver line-ups at Red Bull and AlphaTauri are working well for both teams this season.

This view from the Red Bull team principal could potentially be construed as a hint that both teams could proceed with unchanged line-ups in 2022, although no news has officially been confirmed by the team yet.

Sergio Perez joined Red Bull on a one-year contract after he was dropped by Racing Point, and became the first driver since Mark Webber to take a seat at the team without having come through the Red Bull junior programme.

Pierre Gasly has arguably been in the form of his life this season for AlphaTauri, proving himself a team leader in front of inconsistent rookie Yuki Tsunoda. However, Gasly admitted his future beyond this year is very much in the team’s hands.

Horner defended the reasoning behind signing the Mexican alongside Max Verstappen, instead of re-promoting a resurgent Gasly to the senior team.

“Our view has always been to give youth the chance and I think Red Bull, more than any other team, has done that,” Horner said, quoted by Autosport.

“But occasionally, you need to step out of the programme. I think it was a brave decision to do that, but I think it was the right decision. The dynamic in the team is working well.

“Pierre is doing a fantastic job at AlphaTauri and is still very much a Red Bull racing driver, so we are in a good place.”

Pierre Gasly on the grid of the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.

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Perez won his first race for Red Bull on only his sixth start for the team by taking the chequered flag after a frantic Azerbaijan Grand Prix, picking up the pieces after Verstappen had suffered a tyre failure a few laps from the finish.

The popular Mexican said recently that stepping into a Red Bull has felt like driving “in a different category” at times and has had issues in qualifying in particular so far this season.

His ability to rise through the field in races has been encouraging for the team, however, and Horner believes the two-time grand prix winner has achieved what he had set out for him at the start of the season.

“I think Sergio has delivered the role we’ve been hoping for,” Horner stated.

“You saw that in Baku when he picked up a victory on the day he was able to put Lewis under pressure.

“He’s been collecting those Constructors’ points and playing the team game, as we saw at the French Grand Prix. He’s a great team player and we are very happy with the job he’s doing.”