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Red Bull's Dual Fates Verstappen Excels Pérez Falters

Horner: Verstappen Shines, Pérez’s Role in Peril

08/07/2024

Christian Horner praises Max Verstappen’s excellence while casting doubt on Sergio Pérez’s future with Red Bull amidst fierce competition.

Christian Horner praised Red Bull’s turnaround at Silverstone, particularly Max Verstappen’s performance. The three-time world champion was struggling when rain hit the track, but he rallied late in the race to claim second place.

“It was a thrilling race, one minute we felt out of it and the next we were back in contention. We made the right strategic calls, particularly when we switched to intermediates, then to slicks, and finally to hard tyres—all the right choices,” Horner stated.

“If there had been a few more laps, the outcome might have been different, but it was still excellent driving and a strong performance from Max. Max faced issues in the first stint, which were actually unexpected.”

“We suffered from a lot of graining, and it also occurred when it was raining. These are normally ideal conditions for Max, but unfortunately, we lost a lot of ground at that time,” continued the Briton, admitting that McLaren’s poor decisions indeed helped Red Bull.

“Fortunately, he benefited from McLaren’s odd choice. McLaren had a new medium in stock. Mercedes did not, neither did we. I really expected to see a set of yellow tyres on Lando’s McLaren. Perhaps they’ll rethink that in hindsight…”

The Brit then discussed Sergio Pérez’s result. The Mexican had qualified 19th and had to opt for a risky strategy that did not pay off. For the first time, Horner admits that Pérez’s level is completely insufficient for Red Bull.

“The situation with Checo… It’s no longer tenable if you have such strong rivals. He knows it’s untenable not to score points. We need to score with this car. And he knows it. He understands his role and his goal. And so, no one is more eager than Checo himself to regain his form.”

“McLaren took seven points from us. It’s something we’re fully aware of. To win a constructors’ championship, both cars need to score.”

“A word on the strategy, crucial in this race. The pit wall and the drivers really work well together, Max and Checo obviously relay what’s happening, but the pit wall has more information and they all communicate to be able to make the right decisions at the right time.”

Red Bull must analyze ‘variable’ performances

Red Bull posted a strong result, but the performances fluctuated against Mercedes and McLaren. Horner acknowledges that the team must understand where the difficulties arise, and why the RB20 is sometimes irresistible.

“The British Grand Prix is always a special weekend, and congratulations also to Lewis for his excellent driving at his home circuit. His strength in managing tyres is evident. Lewis did a great job and it shows just how much speed and experience he still possesses.”

“On our side, we will need to analyze the performances because everything was variable in terms of pace and which team was fastest on the track at any given time, but it evened out as the track dried.”

“It was really strange. One minute, McLaren seemed to be the fastest car on the track, then it was Mercedes and I think these tyres are so sensitive to temperature that one minute you’re the fastest on the track, the next you’re nowhere.”

“It was quite confusing. And you can see that Mercedes is also mixing into the fight for victories. With cooler temperatures, the Mercedes have always been strong. It’s going to be tight for the rest of the year.”

Red Bull's Dual Fates Verstappen Excels Pérez Falters

Red Bull’s Dual Fates: Verstappen Excels, Pérez Falters Red Bull’s Dual Fates: Verstappen Excels, Pérez Falters

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