Sergio Perez has been a major factor for Red Bull in 2021 and Christian Horner believes his decade's worth of experience in Formula 1 has been pivotal for the team, which is something Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon didn't have.
Perez had a slow start to the season but has helped boost Red Bull's points haul in the Constructors' Championship to give the team a lead of 44 points over Mercedes ahead of the British Grand Prix.
"I think he just gives us that experience," Horner told the Beyond the Grid podcast. "He's got 10 years worth of experience.
"He's got an ability to manage the tyres within a race that is second to none. It just brings a different dynamic into the line-up.
"Both Pierre and Alex are tremendously gifted drivers, but timing just wasn't right. Then the pressured environment that we have, and the expectation, it was very tough for them."
Perez replaced Albon who endured a difficult season in similar fashion to Gasly the year before as both drivers failed to meet expectations against Max Verstappen. Red Bull's decision to sign Perez was the first time they have signed a driver from outside of their junior programme since 2007.
"It was a bold move to step out of the scheme this year with Sergio," said Horner. "For the first time since Mark Webber, we've taken a non-Red Bull junior driver.
"But the way he settled in and the way he's delivering, particularly after that victory in Bahrain last year, it would have been very tough for him not to be in Formula 1.
"I think he brings the dynamic in the fight that we have with Mercedes. That's starting to pay dividends. You saw that in the French Grand Prix, and also Azerbaijan getting his first victory.
"The way he fended off Lewis, Lewis probably would have won that race had it not been for Sergio so he's absolutely delivering."
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