Christian Horner demands Sergio Perez be on his ‘A-game’ not just with Max Verstappen

Sergio Perez has played the wingman role for Max Verstappen for the past two seasons at Red Bull.

When Sergio Perez signed for Red Bull ahead of the 2021 season, the Mexican brought a wealth of racing experience to the team.

Max Verstappen’s last two teammates had been relatively inexperienced in the form of Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon, and the team decided to adopt a different approach.

This decision has paid off massively as Verstappen and Perez have formed one of the most successful partnerships on the grid, finally bringing the constructors’ championship back to Red Bull last season after an extended stay with Mercedes.

With regards to the drivers’ championship however, Perez has often had to play the wingman role for Verstappen, helping the Dutchman in his battles with Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc.

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This is mainly down to Perez needing to adapt to Red Bull and the Mexican finding himself out of title contention after only a few races of the season.

This year however, Red Bull look to be in a league of their own and with Perez entering his third year with the team, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has urged the 33-year-old to put the pressure on his teammate.

“Look, Max is a hell of a competitor and he’s a tough… probably the highest benchmark in F1,” he told Formula 1’s official website.

“But Checo is now in his third year in the team, he’s confident, he’s comfortable and he’s got to be on his A-game, not just with Max.

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“[Ferrari’s] drivers are pushing each other hard, Mercedes’ drivers are [pushing each other] hard, we’ve got what looks like a pretty motivated veteran [Fernando Alonso] in a green car as well, so it’s going to be a really exciting year.”

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Perez was unable to fully take the fight to Verstappen in Bahrain as a poor start to the race saw the Mexican lose a lot of time whilst battling with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

With Red Bull looking almost untouchable so far this season, Perez will have a great opportunity to battle his teammate for race wins and prove that he is capable of winning championships.

The Mexican’s performance in Saudi Arabia last year was highly impressive and Perez will be targeting a race win at Jeddah this time around.