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Sergio Perez

Horner dismisses Lawson test as pressure mounts on Perez

Liam Lawson will be behind the wheel of the Red Bull RB20 for a test, just as pressure is beginning to mount on Sergio Perez.

Perez Horner Monaco
To news overview © XPBimages

Christian Horner has played down the importance of a looming Liam Lawson Red Bull test following another poor showing from Sergio Perez.

Perez endured a bad British Grand Prix weekend, spinning off in Q1 during qualifying at Copse, beaching the Red Bull, before starting from the pit-lane following a power unit change.

In the race, Perez started to make good progress through the field early on, before pitting on Lap 20 for intermediates as rain began to fall at Silverstone. 

However, the track was not wet enough for the inter tyres, meaning the Mexican fell back in the lower midfield and eventually came home in 17th place to continue a miserable run of form stretching from Miami.

In the six races since, Perez has scored just 11 points as Red Bull is coming under renewed threat in the Constructors' given the form of McLaren and the resurgence of Mercedes.

RacingNews365 revealed the existence of clauses in Perez's contract that he is currently struggling to meet before the summer break, as test driver Lawson is set to get behind of the RB20. 

Lawson has been tipped as a contender for the seat should Perez be replaced, but Horner has dismissed the possibility of the Kiwi immediately taking the seat - although he wants to see more from Perez.

"I'm actually doing a lap at Silverstone in the RB8 on Thursday as well, so you never know," Horner told media including RacingNews365. 

"In all seriousness, the Liam test is an aero run that has been planned for a couple of months now, but of course, Checo is under pressure. That's normal in Formula 1.

"Every driver is different, some drivers need an arm around the shoulder, some need a kick up the arse, it varies from week to week.

"When you're under-delivering that pressure only mounts and he's aware of that, he knows that and this weekend, nothing has really gone his way. 

"We took a gamble in the race, he started on a hard tyre, he was making decent progress early on in the race, and the rain started to arrive he was P15/P16. At the time, you roll the dice a little at that point as [Ferrari] did with Charles Leclerc, he went on to the inter and if the rain would have picked up, he looks like a hero. 

"It didn't, so you don't and then he had an extra stop, but the time loss of being on an inter on a drying track is [big], he was haemorrhaging a lot of time."

Perez's form 'unsustainable'

With only Verstappen scoring regular big points for Red Bull, its lead in the Constructors' is being eaten away by the chasing pack, although Mercedes' unreliability and McLaren's strategy faux pas prevented a bigger loss to either of those two teams. 

Red Bull actually increased its Constructors' lead over second-placed Ferrari by seven points after Carlos Sainz finished fifth with fastest lap, but its form has nosedived over recent races, with third-place McLaren the biggest threat.

Given Perez's slump, Horner called the situation "unsustainable."

"He knows it's unsustainable to not be scoring points, we have to be scoring points with that car, and he knows his role and his targets. Nobody is more eager than Checo to get out and find his form again," he said.

"It is frustrating as when both of your cars aren't performing collectively and it was frustrating to lose Checo in Q1. 

"He missed FP1 because of Isack Hadjar driving, had a decent FP2 and we felt that he should have been around top six [on the grid] and then to lose that car in Q1 was very frustrating."

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