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Formula 1

Horner explains why he believes Perez is improving

Red Bull's Christian Horner has praised Sergio Perez's recent improvements, saying it's come at the right time for the team.

Perez USA
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool/Getty Images

Christian Horner has praised Sergio Perez's recent uptick in form, after the Mexican driver scored two podiums in a row with third place in Turkey and the United States.

After a tough middle third of the season, Perez is showing signs of emerging from his slump and has helped Red Bull close the gap to Mercedes in the Constructors' Championship to 23 points with five races remaining.

Red Bull team boss Horner couldn't be more pleased about the timing.

"I think it's been coming for the last few races: Monza, he was strong, Sochi was strong," Horner told select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com, after the US Grand Prix. "He should have been on the podium at both of those races.

"He had a strong Istanbul, and he's been on the pace all the way through this weekend. I think it's just confidence. We need him delivering at this time of year, which is a great result for him.

"We're managing to find a setup that works for him and managing to optimise the car around his style a bit more."

Perez, who struggled with the physicality of the race at the Circuit of the Americas due to illness and a malfunctioning drinks bottle, finished over 40 seconds behind the lead battle during the race, but explained that he wasn't able to keep up due to a Medium-tyre stint as well as the physical challenge.

"It was nice, I think there are a lot of positives to take from the weekend," he said.

"My race was, I think, firstly compromised by the tyres that I had, and being on the scrubbed Medium. I think was quite a bit of a disadvantage considering how high the degradation was.

"And then, I struggled massively, physically, from Lap 20 onwards, so it wasn't an ideal race.

"But I think we managed to stay within the undercut region from the leaders and that really triggered the undercut, firstly with Max on Lewis.

"We tried to do the same with Lewis and he had no other option but to pit, so we avoid him doing his optimal race, so I think in that sense it worked well – but since Lap 20 onwards, I was pretty much done."

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