[Red Bull: Perez’s championship position is relieving pressure
The Mexican driver failed to reach Q3 for the fifth grand prix qualifying session in a row last weekend, as he landed 15th on the grid for the 2023 British GP before battling back to sixth.
But Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said Perez is not under immediate pressure to retain his seat, with his championship position a major factor in determining his security.
Asked if he was concerned over Perez’s form, Horner said: “At the moment, he’s running second in the championship and he’s extended his lead over Fernando [at Silverstone].
“We’ve got a good car, but we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got both cars in contention.”
Horner says Perez “needs an arm around his shoulder”. He also backs the driver to regain his form and the team must help in“trying to make sure it happens as quickly as possible.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing
Photo by: James Sutton / Motorsport Images
Horner continued: “If you look at his pace in the last stint, he was right there.
“It’s frustrating for him that he’s having to fight back all of the time, but he’s just got to sort his qualifying out on the Saturday and as a team, we’ll do our best to support him on that.”
Given Perez’s weak qualifying performances, the significance of reserve driver Ricciardo’s Silverstone three-day tyre test aboard the RB19 this week has been thrust into the spotlight.
But Horner reckons there is no plan for eight-time GP winner Ricciardo to return to the frontline with Red Bull. He said: “It’s going to be great to see him back in a Red Bull car and seeing what he can, where he’s at. Both on pace and mentally, physically and to get his feedback on this car as well.
“So, I think it’s a good opportunity for him to get back behind the wheel of a car that’s just won the British Grand Prix.
“[Promoting Ricciardo to the race team] is not something that we’re planning, that’s for certain.
“But it was right to give him the opportunity this year to remain within the team and keep him around the sport. It would have been a loss to the sport for him just to disappear.
“I didn’t recognise Daniel over the last couple of years. So, I’ll be very interested to see what kind of job he does.”