Sergio Perez has been in much better form in the past two rounds, and Christian Horner says Red Bull need him to maintain that form until the end of the season.
The Mexican initially struggled to get to grips with his car in his first year as Max Verstappen’s team-mate but he now looks to have found his feet.
In both of the last two rounds, he crossed the line in P3, fighting Lewis Hamilton off in Turkey and managing to finish on the podium despite having a broken drinks system on what was a very hot day in Austin.
Horner puts such an improvement down to confidence and feels that he has been coming for quite some time now.
“I think confidence,” he said.
“I think it has been coming for the last few races. At Monza he was strong, Sochi he was strong. He should have been on the podium at both of those races.
“He had a strong Istanbul and he was on the pace all the way through this weekend so I think it’s just confidence. We need him delivering at this time of the year which is a great result for him.”
¡Gran trabajo de todo el equipo! Hoy fue la carrera más larga de mi vida. ¡toda la energía que me dieron hoy en la pista me ayudó a concretar este resultado!
Nos vemos en casa, no tengo duda que haremos vibrar ese autódromo como nunca. ¡Gracias!#USGP pic.twitter.com/8wGcRgDzwH
— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) October 25, 2021
Perez’ performances at both rounds provided a big boost to the team in their quests to win both the Drivers’ Championship and the Constructors’ Championship this season.
At Istanbul Park, him holding off Hamilton proved crucial for Verstappen as the Brit could only finish P5 in the end rather than P3, which looked likely at one point.
At the Circuit of The Americas meanwhile, Red Bull closed the gap to Mercedes thanks to the fact that Perez was the first to finish behind the two title rivals while Valtteri Bottas could only take P6.
As a result, Verstappen now leads Hamilton by 12 points while Red Bull trail the German team by 23.
With both battles so tight, Horner says Red Bull need Perez to keep performing well, and thinks finding the right setup for him is key.
“I think we’re managing to find a set-up that works for him and managing to optimise the car around his style a little more,” he added.
“I think there are some important races coming up so we need him doing what he did here.”
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