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Formula 1 Canadian GP

Horner: Perez needs to rebound from "horrible" weekend

Team principal Christian Horner has urged Sergio Perez to immediately rediscover his form after Red Bull “got away with it” at the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix.

By virtue of Max Verstappen’s hard-fought Montreal F1 victory and the retirements of both Ferrari drivers, Red Bull more than doubled its constructors’ championship lead over the Scuderia to 49 points.

But this was not helped by Perez, who had failed to escape Q1 on Saturday and then struggled to make progress in the grand prix before crashing and retiring on lap 51 of 70, leaving his points total for the last three races at just four – a sum bettered by 10 drivers in the same period and level to that of under-pressure Daniel Ricciardo.

“It was a horrible weekend for Checo and obviously, we picked up some damage,” Horner told Sky Sports. “He’ll need to come back strong in Barcelona.

“Thankfully, Ferrari had a shocker and didn’t get any points so that let us off the hook somewhat, but we need both cars scoring. We got away with it today but we need Checo back up there where he was at the beginning of the year from Barcelona onwards.”

Backing the Mexican – who recently signed a fresh two-year contract to remain at Red Bull to the end of the 2026 season – to turn things around, he added: “What we see with Checo time and time again is that when you think he’s on the ropes, he bounces back. He’s a tough racer and he’s a tough character and it hurts him more than anybody else.

“He’ll be determined to come back and show everybody the form we know he’s capable of and that he showed in the first four races of this year.”

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A524, spins ahead of Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A524, at the start

Pierre Gasly, Alpine A524, spins ahead of Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A524, at the start

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Perez’s nosedive in form has seen him drop to fifth in the drivers’ standings.

Reflecting on the difficulty of making progress on the drying Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, he said: “No, we were able to sort that out. I think today was just one line, it was so difficult to pass at times. It was only later in the race when the dry line started to open up, and early on it was just a matter of keeping it together.

“It has been a very tough couple of weekends. I think we will just regroup, put our heads down and learn from the weekend.

“On Saturday, we had a bit of an issue that prevented us from qualifying a lot higher – which we understood straight after qualifying, which is positive.

“Obviously, there is a long year ahead and I am sure that we will get to our form.”

But there was no excuse made for his crash, as Perez conceded: “That was just on me. I touched the wet part into Turn 6 and you couldn’t stop the car. It was completely wet. I touched the brakes and just couldn’t stop, so that was a bit unfortunate.”

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