For now, Horner is standing behind Perez

But more troubles for Perez could mean ’he’ll be fired’


21 May 2024 - 10:16
For now, Horner is standing behind Perez

Sergio Perez may once again be in danger of losing his race seat at Red Bull.

Recently, it had appeared that the Mexican had done enough to secure at least another contract for 2025, given that he was maintaining second place in the world championship behind his own teammate Max Verstappen.

But Perez, 34, fell behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after a disappointing performance at Imola last weekend.

"The lights were on, but no one was home," surmised former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos, whilst discussing Perez’s Imola performance on Ziggo Sport.

"I found his first stint really shocking, actually. Now he’s going to Monaco, where you really need self-confidence. But I think it’s much more likely that Lando Norris will fight for pole with Max."

When asked what might happen if Perez continues to slide down the drivers’ standings as 2024 progresses, Doornbos answered: "Then he’ll be fired.

"Things were going well at the beginning of the year, so you can’t fire him, can you? He was second. But if he’s fifth in the championship, he’ll be gone," the Dutchman added.

Italy’s influential La Gazzetta dello Sport gave Perez just 5 out of 10 for his weekend at Imola. "Perez was schooled by Verstappen," the editorial reads.

"While Super Max works wonders, he (Perez) does it disastrously with the same equipment. How long will Christian Horner continue to rely on him?"

For now, Horner is standing behind Perez, insisting that Imola was "an anomaly" in an otherwise good season for the Mexican driver.

"He has changed his approach and has been very solid since the start of the season," Red Bull’s team boss added. "A good Monaco next week and he will be at his best again."

Horner does agree that Red Bull needs a second driver capable of being at the front "to help Max, just as the two McLarens and the two Ferraris are stronger together".

However, the door at Red Bull for the job-hunting Carlos Sainz might still be open.

"Sainz is first on our list" for 2025 and beyond, Audi-owned Sauber team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi told Italy’s Autosprint.

"I say this with a smile, but let’s say there is a flirtation underway, as having him would be ideal. Although it should be noted that Red Bull and Mercedes are also theoretical competitors until proven otherwise," he said.

Red Bull


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