Horner praises Perez for settling in, delivering for Red Bull

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – MARCH 27: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner walk in the Paddock before final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 27, 2021 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Christian Horner, has praised Sergio Perez for settling in and delivering fantastic results for Red Bull, which has seen them be top of the Constructor’s Championship for the first time since 2013.

Perez was brought in from Racing Point as a replacement for Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly before him after both drivers failed to deliver the expected results and support Max Verstappen during races through strategy, which Horner feels Perez is achieving.

“The way he settled in and the way he’s delivering, particularly after that victory in Bahrain last year, it would have been very tough for him not to be in Formula 1,” Horner said,

“The way he fended off Lewis, Lewis probably would have won that race had it not been for Sergio so he’s absolutely delivering.”

Perez was the first driver to race for Red Bull without having come up through the Red Bull Driver’s Academy since Mark Webber, which Horner claims to have been a bold move in itself.

“It was a bold move to step out of the scheme this year with Sergio,” said Horner. “For the first time since Mark Webber, we’ve taken a non-Red Bull junior driver.

Horner further praised Perez’s ability to manage tires during the race and that Perez brought something to the table, neither Albon nor Gasly did, despite their talents and achievements.

“He’s got an ability to manage the tires within a race that is second to none. It just brings a different dynamic into the line-up,” Horner explained. “He’s got 10 years’ worth of experience.”

“That’s starting to pay dividends. You saw that in the French Grand Prix, and also Azerbaijan getting his first victory.”

Perez initially had a slow start to the season, however, he quickly picked up the pace, winning in his fifth race of the season with Red Bull and has consistently scored vital points hauling Red Bull 44 points ahead of Mercedes.

“Both Pierre and Alex are tremendously gifted drivers, but the timing just wasn’t right. Then the pressured environment that we have, and the expectation, it was very tough for them,” Horner admitted.

“The way he fended off Lewis, Lewis probably would have won that race had it not been for Sergio so he’s absolutely delivering.”

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