Horner: Perez "ahead of expectation", but no rush for new deal

Red Bull says that Sergio Perez is doing better than the Formula 1 team expected him to do, but it is in no rush to sort out a fresh contract with him.

Horner: Perez "ahead of expectation", but no rush for new deal

The Mexican was signed by the Milton Keynes-based team as replacement for Alex Albon this year, with the outfit believing it needed a stronger line-up to bolster its world championship chances.

Although Perez had some difficulty early on in adapting to the characteristics of the Red Bull car, especially in qualifying, he has made great progress and took victory in last weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

PLUS: Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has nothing but praise for the rate of Perez's development, as he labelled his race pace in Baku as particularly impressive.

"We knew he was good around here but we didn't know he was that good," explained Horner.

"He was quick all weekend, and he's been bang on the pace. The only one lap where he made a mistake was Q3 run one.

"His race pace was phenomenal. Had he not been long at the first stop, he would have been right on top of Max for the overcut at that point as well, such was his pace in clean air.

"So phenomenal for him. The way he was defending Lewis [Hamilton] and controlling, that was a class act.

"To see him get that victory, it will be great for his confidence. It puts him up to third in the drivers' championship now. So I think he's ahead of expectation."

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Perez's encouraging form has given Red Bull its strongest driver line-up since Verstappen raced alongside Daniel Ricciardo.

But, although the victory leaves Red Bull not needing to look beyond Perez for 2022 contenders, Horner said he is happy to wait before thinking about a possible contract extension.

"I'm really happy with the job that Checo is doing," he said. "We are only on race six out of 23. We've got plenty of time. He's enjoying being in the team. He's doing a great job and he just needs to keep doing what he is doing."

Read Also:

Horner did accept, however, that having Perez right up there in the mix for wins was a huge benefit for Red Bull.

"It's great to have both cars up there obviously, and I think that it's an added string to our bow on a day when you lose your lead car," he said.

"Checo is right there and, to deliver the win, that's exactly what we've been looking for. So I'm delighted for him, and pleased for the team for the amount of effort that's been going on behind the scenes."

shares
comments

Related video

Russell: Zero points for Williams wouldn't make 2021 F1 season a failure

Previous article

Russell: Zero points for Williams wouldn't make 2021 F1 season a failure

Next article

How fast is an F1 car? Top speeds of F1, IndyCar, MotoGP and more

How fast is an F1 car? Top speeds of F1, IndyCar, MotoGP and more
Load comments
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Plus

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021