Red Bull boss blasts Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez is set to be axed by Red Bull this season as he continues to struggle against Max Verstappen.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has strongly criticised Sergio Perez, the team’s Mexican driver, following yet another disappointing qualifying session at the Austrian Grand Prix. 

On a day filled with drama at Red Bull’s home track, a staggering 47 lap times were deleted for exceeding track limits. 

However, Perez had the most difficult time, finishing in 15th place while his teammate Max Verstappen secured pole position. 

Perez had three consecutive laps deleted in Q2, marking his fourth consecutive race without a top 10 position—a record low for a Red Bull driver in 15 years.

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Christian Horner expressed his frustration with Perez’s performance, stating, “He’s got the pace today, he’s got a car that was easily capable of being on the first or second row, he was matching Max’s times, stay in the white lines!” 

In an interview with Sky Sports F1, Horner continued, “It was strike one, strike two, ‘Checo just stay in the white lines!’ strike three, and that was it. 

“Just hugely frustrating because he could have done it. That’s the frustration.”

Horner emphasised that Verstappen responded to the instructions to stay within the track limits, adjusting his driving to avoid penalties. 

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Horner added, “It was crystal clear [that it was his last opportunity]. 

“The frustrating thing is we know he can do it, he did a 4.9 on that lap, he was three hundredths off Max. 

“He could have been four tenths slower and still been in.”

Addressing rumors about a potential replacement for Perez, Horner dismissed such speculations and affirmed the team’s support for the struggling driver. 

“Look everybody is fully behind [him] so any talk about replacing Checo is wide of the mark,” Horner stated.

Perez himself criticised the stewards for failing to investigate what he believed was impeding from Alex Albon during his third attempted lap. 

“On the way [during the session] we were a bit confused, but then once I got the feedback that it was on the way into turn 10, it was all clear,” Perez explained. 

He further expressed his frustration, stating, “I was on a good lap, but then all of a sudden on my final lap, I found Albon and I just went straight. 

“I could not stop. I think I lost a tenth or a bit more than that just by going straight, but the stewards wouldn’t consider that I was blocked.”

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Perez argued that allowances should be given when drivers are impeded and suggested that the current system is flawed. 

“There’s so many things I can control, and unfortunately, this one, you’re closing a good lap, and then all of a sudden you are blocked and you have a penalty. 

“I think the system is wrong,” Perez remarked.