F1 News: Christian Horner Defends Sergio Perez Amidst Canadian GP Disaster

The Red Bull team principal defends his driver.
Christian Horner, Team Principal of Oracle Red Bull Racing, speaks at the Red Bull Fan Zone, a private event at Oracle headquarters, on Wednesday October 18, 2023.
Christian Horner, Team Principal of Oracle Red Bull Racing, speaks at the Red Bull Fan Zone, a private event at Oracle headquarters, on Wednesday October 18, 2023. / Jay Janner/American-Statesman / USA

Red Bull Racing’s Team Principal, Christian Horner, has openly defended Sergio Perez’s resilience despite a disappointing performance at the Canadian Grand Prix, where a crash led to his retirement. Horner highlighted Perez’s need to "come back strong in Barcelona" following consecutive race retirements that are becoming critical as Red Bull hunts for points in the constructors’ championship. This defense highlights the team's enduring confidence in Perez's abilities despite the recent setbacks that threaten to mar his season’s earlier achievements.

Just after a contract extension earlier this week, Perez faced difficulties that led to his retirement from the rain-soaked event, marking his second consecutive non-finish this season. These results starkly contrasted with those of his teammate, Max Verstappen, who clinched another win.

Despite these challenges, team principal Christian Horner came out strongly in defense of Perez.

"It was a horrible weekend for Checo and obviously, we picked up some damage [at the start]. He'll need to come back strong in Barcelona. Thankfully Ferrari had a shocker today, so they didn't get any points. That let us off the hook somewhat, but we need both cars scoring. We got away with it today, but we need Checo back up where he was at the beginning of the year, from Barcelona onwards," Horner said on the Sky Sports F1 broadcast.

Horner further highlighted Perez's resilience, a trait that has defined his career and, in many ways, his tenure at Red Bull.

"What we see with him time and time again, you think he's on the ropes and then he bounces accessibly back. He’s a tough racer. He’s a tough character. I think it hurts him more than anybody else. He’ll be determined to come back and show everybody the form we know he’s capable of and showed in the first four races of this year in Barcelona."

Perez's performance dip came at a critical time for Red Bull as they continue to amass points in the constructors' championship. Notably, Perez has scored merely four points across the past three races, a significant downturn from his earlier season form.

The context of the Canadian GP was marked by harsh weather conditions that tested all drivers' skill and adaptability. The rain led to a challenging race, which saw George Russell losing pole position to eventual winner Verstappen after leading initially. Meanwhile, Perez suffered from oversteer, skidding into the wall, which compromised his car and ultimately led to his race ending in retirement and a meeting with the stewards later today for driving a dangerous vehicle after the crash.

Alex Harrington


Alex is the editor-in-chief of F1 editorial. He fell in love with F1 at the young age of 7 after hearing the scream of naturally aspirated V10s echo through his grandparents' lounge. That year he watched as Michael Schumacher took home his fifth championship win with Ferrari, and has been unable to look away since.