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Sergio Perez

Red Bull make Perez demand with F1 rivals 'nipping at their heels'

The pressure is on Sergio Perez for the next race in Spain after "a horrible" weekend in Canada.

Perez Canada
To news overview © XPBimages

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has urged Sergio Perez to rediscover the form that convinced them to re-sign him with the defence of their F1 constructors' championship on the line.

Perez endured what Horner described as "a horrible" Canadian Grand Prix weekend that saw him fail to escape from Q1 for the second consecutive race, in particular.

That compromised Sunday's event in mixed conditions as he was involved in an initial minor collision with Alpine's Pierre Gasly before sliding off late on and severely damaging the rear suspension of the RB20.

Under instruction to return to the garage to avoid a safety car and protect team-mate Max Verstappen's lead, despite depositing debris on the track, Red Bull were fined €25,000 for forcing Perez to drive the car in an unsafe condition, with the Mexican handed a three-place grid drop for the next race in Spain.

With Perez retiring, Horner has conceded Red Bull was fortunate Ferrari failed to score any points from what he described as "a shocker" of a weekend for the Scuderia, and that his team "got away with it".

But with Ferrari, McLaren, and now Mercedes all in close pursuit of Red Bull, the fact Verstappen's rear-gunner is struggling is proving problematic for Horner.

"Checo just needs to forget Canada 2024 and turn up in Barcelona and bounce back," said Horner, speaking to media, including RacingNews365. "We know he's very capable of doing that, and I'm sure he'll come back fighting hard."

Perez 'knows what's at stake'

Horner added: "We were lucky Ferrari didn't score any points. They could have taken a lot of points out of us in the constructors', but we need him up there scoring, as he was in the first four races [of this year].

"What we see with him time and time again, you think he is on the ropes and then he bounces back. He's a tough racer, a tough character, and it hurts him more than anybody else.

"He'll be determined to come back and show everybody the form we know he is capable of, and he showed in the first four races of this year, in Barcelona."

Horner has conceded the "margins are fine" at present, with McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes having closed the gap, and with any team seemingly in a position to win a race on any given day

"He knows what's at stake," said Horner of Perez. "We need him performing at the top of his game because in the constructors' we've got three teams that are nipping at our heels and you've got be firing on all cylinders."

Horner, meanwhile, has confirmed the power unit that sustained an ERS failure on Verstappen's car in second practice at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Friday has been returned to the Honda factory in Sakura for checks, with the feedback due "in the next couple of weeks".

Also interesting:

Max Verstappen hit back after an out-of-sorts Monaco GP, Sergio Perez floundered again - and into a controversial retirement. How much damage can Ferrari and McLaren inflict with Red Bull fighting with one hand tied behind its back, did the Milton Keynes-based team re-sign Perez too soon? After a thoroughly entertaining Canadian GP, host Nick Golding is joined by Ian Parkes and Samuel Coop to analyse all things.

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - FP2