Sergio Perez Leaves Christian Horner Impressed Despite Being Embarrassed by His Peers

Published 12/28/2023, 2:10 PM EST

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via Reuters

Despite securing second position in the driver’s championship, Sergio Perez would want to forget the 2023 season as soon as possible. Having started the season strongly with a couple of pole positions and wins, the Mexican soon faded away under the sheer dominance of Max Verstappen who ended up scoring more than double the points than Checo. That’s got to be a little embarrassing. However, what’s even more so is that in a poll cast by his fellow drivers, Sergio Perez found himself dead last in 10th place.

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Once Checo started falling behind Verstappen, he was never able to recover from it. Maybe it was the mental pressure of going up against the generational talent of the Dutchman that got to him. However, for Christian Horner, Perez had done an impressive job. After all, he helped Red Bull claim their first 1-2 in the championship.

Christian Horner thinks Sergio Perez was phenomenal at times even if his peers don’t

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At the end of a Formula 1 season, the drivers take part in what is known as the Drivers’ Driver of the Year vote. In this anonymous poll, they cast their judgments on their peers. In a surprising turn of events, the Mexican found himself last in the 10th spot, two positions lower than the previous year. To the contrary, Max Verstappen was the obvious winner with Lewis Hamilton trailing behind in 2nd.

However, Christian Horner’s assessment doesn’t match up with that of the drivers. Reflecting on Red Bull’s success in 2023, where they secured 20 wins out of 21 Grands Prix, Horner highlighted Perez’s contributions. Despite the mid-season challenges, Horner commended Checo for his comeback at the business end of the season to deliver some fantastic results.

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“What we saw at the beginning of the year – if you think back to Azerbaijan and Saudi and Bahrain and the early-season races – he was phenomenal. Even in Monza, he drove a great race.” Horner told Race Fans in an exclusive. “But then that first batch of flyaways all started to fall apart for him. And a lot less of a driver would have crumbled under that pressure and expectation. But he brushed himself down, he worked hard. He came and embedded himself in the simulator with his engineers. And I think the turn of the season, he really picked up and drove some great races.

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However, with his contract expiring at the end of 2024, Perez has everything to everything to lose if he can’t close the gap to Verstappen. Especially after Christian Horner dropped the clues on what might happen in 2025.

Horner says any driver combination is possible for 2025

In a recent conversation with Sky Sports F1, Christian Horner spoke about the uncertainty surrounding Red Bull’s 2025 driver line-up. The door is wide open for both Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo to contend for the seat alongside Verstappen. He emphasized the team’s commitment to having the most competitive pairing.

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“As a team, you want to field the most competitive pairing that you can have, and you want the right dynamic in the team,” Horner was quoted by Formula 1. “Max and Checo have been a tremendously successful pairing. Checo, in his three years with us, has finished fourth, third, and second. So he’s on a good trajectory. Daniel is well known to us – it’s great to have him back in the Red Bull fold – and of course, everything is open for 2025 onwards. For us, to have options internally and also externally is no bad place to be.

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Watch This Story | When Daniel Ricciardo Almost Had a Chance to Move to Ferrari

Do you like the prospect of seeing Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo alongside once again? Share your thoughts down below in the comments.

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Written by:

Veerendra Vikram Singh

710Articles

One take at a time

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking." Hi there, I am Veer and I come from a family that lives and breathes football, but somehow I never could fit into that mold.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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