Sergio Perez told to ‘focus on himself’ and ‘forget about’ Max Verstappen

Sergio Perez has been urged to not even look at Max Verstappen's data by Christian Horner.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has insisted that Sergio Perez needs to “focus on himself” and “forget about” trying to beat Max Verstappen, something which has led to several driver errors this season.

Perez has endured a frustrating season, which has seen his form be inconsistent once again.

He started 2023 in fine fashion and won two of the opening four races, something which saw him labelled as a title favourite.

However, this label appeared to be the turning point for Perez, as he then endured a shocking downward spiral.

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Perez went on a woeful run of failing to qualify for Q3, something which saw his title chances go up in smoke.

The pressure of fighting Verstappen just seemed to overwhelm the Mexican driver, who has recently shown glimpses of pace now that he’s focusing purely on himself and not his team-mate.

Perez stands a very good chance at sealing second in the Drivers’ Championship in Las Vegas this weekend, something which would do his confidence the world of good.

Horner sympathises with Perez in many ways as he recognises that being alongside Verstappen is the “hardest job” in F1, mostly because the Dutchman is capable of extraordinary performances out of the blue.

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“Being a teammate of Max is the hardest job in the paddock… Checo has done a great job next to Max during the last three years,” Horner said on the EFF won with DRS podcast.

“Look at a race like Japan… The very first lap that Max does out of the pits is two seconds quicker than the rest of the field. And you’re looking at that data and you’re thinking, ‘How has he done that? How has he done that?’ And so often, that will happen.”

In Horner’s opinion, Perez is better when he just focuses on himself and doesn’t even look at Verstappen’s data, something which would presumably be massively soul crushing.

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The team boss just wants Perez to think about himself first rather than trying to “compare himself” to Verstappen, who is currently unbeatable.

“The problem is for Checo, he’s trying to compare himself to Max and what he needs to do is forget about Max,” Horner added.

“Just focus on himself, don’t even look at his data. Just focus on being the best you can be. As we saw earlier in the year, sometimes that can be good enough.”