F1 Mexican Grand Prix: Christian Horner Defends Sergio Perez for his Race-Ending Incident in Mexico

Christian Horner, team principal of Red Bull, has reiterated the team's intention to keep Sergio Perez for the 2024 season while also praising Daniel Ricciardo's impressive showing at the Mexican Grand Prix.

By Divyam Dubey | on October 31, 2023 Follow us on Autox Google News

Sergio Perez's hopes of making it onto the podium for a third straight year at his home event were dashed in the opening turn of the race. When the Mexican driver and Charles Leclerc collided, the latter's car went airborne. The subsequent suspension damage was too great for Perez to overcome, therefore he had to drop out of the race early. This misfortune just added to the stress he's been under all season, as he's fought to overcome a string of poor performances.

This season has been particularly tough for Perez because of his streak of poor qualifying results, which have given his competition a significant advantage on race day. The fact that his teammate, Max Verstappen, has won an astounding 16 Grand Prix races this season, compared to Perez's two, hasn't helped matters either.

The recent race results for Perez have only increased the focus on his performance in this setting. He hasn't finished on the podium in five races and is losing ground on the leader in the drivers' championship. Despite these obstacles, Christian Horner, the team principal, quickly defended his driver.

Also Read: F1 Mexican Grand Prix: Sergio Perez Admits Taking a Risk in Race-ending Incident involving Leclerc

F1: What did the Red Bull Team Principal Say?

F1 Sergio Perez 2

Christian Horner defended Perez by saying, "On one side, elated to have won the race, keeping that winning momentum going. But on the other side, desperately disappointed for Checo, going for the lead of the race, a racing accident down at Turn 1. To go out on the first lap in front of your home crowd is really painful for him. He was very emotional as you can imagine, but he is a racing driver – he had to go for it. You can’t place the blame on any of the drivers, three into one is always going to be tough into one corner. And he had a rocket ship start, probably his best start of the year. And he was going for it in front of his home crowd."

"It is tough for him, but he is our driver and we want him to achieve what we know he is capable of, and we’ll continue to support and protect him," said Horner, when asked about the rumours that are swirling around the paddock regarding Perez’s future at the team and in the sport. He’s got 13 years of experience in Formula 1, and when you are going through a difficult moment it’s important to support him. He was having a great weekend up until that point," he added

Sergio Perez's home Grand Prix weekend was a disappointment because he had to retire for the second time in four races. This happened in front of a great, enthusiastic crowd, whose support he had always cherished. This turn of events has consequently cut his advantage over Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' championship to just 20 points as they head to Brazil.

Also Read: Interview with Kush Maini: How It All Unfolded from F3 to F2 to F1 with Mika Hakkinen

F1: Reiccardo to Replace Sergo Perez?

F1 Daniel Ricciardo 2

After returning to Formula 1 in the middle of the season, Daniel Ricciardo scored his first points with a strong showing in the Mexico City Grand Prix. He had a better qualifying performance than Perez in Mexico, and he was in fifth place when the race was red-flagged due to a major crash involving Kevin Magnussen. As a result of his consistent performance, Ricciardo crossed the finish line in seventh place.

Although Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner avoided making any negative comments about Perez, he did call Ricciardo's performance throughout the weekend "remarkable."

Ricciardo said this when asked if he was happy with the outcome: “I am… To be honest, when I saw the red flag, I was like ‘urgggh’, because the race was just kind of going very nice and smooth and we were in fifth and everything was kind of on plan and at that point, it looked like we could have finished fifth.

Red Bull should have no doubt about Ricciardo's readiness to combine with Max Verstappen again if he maintains this level of performance in the remaining races in Brazil, Las Vegas, and Abu Dhabi. Red Bull has a reputation for being pragmatic, so even if they say Perez has a future, they may replace him with Ricciardo if the latter proves to be the superior option. The fact that Perez is under contract until 2024 won't matter if he's no longer the best option. Red Bull has repeatedly proven its relentless attitude.

Ricciardo, who has already guaranteed his seat at AlphaTauri in 2024, showed admirable resolve by fighting hard with Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race. At the finish line, he was battling for sixth place with George Russell and was only half a second behind him.

Tags: F1 Mexican Grand Prix Christian Horner Red Bull Sergio Perez Daniel Ricciardo

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