Sergio Perez’s season has been full of ups and downs. Despite this, Red Bull thought it was enough to sign him for 2022 as well. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner explains why Perez will also be Max Verstappen’s teammate next season.
The expectations around Sergio Perez were high, but the Mexican only partially fulfilled these expectations. He was unable to continue his form from 2020 and only sporadically could Perez surprise. With a second place on the starting grid at Imola, ahead of Max Verstappen, and a win in Baku, the start of his season was still quite good. The balance after fourteen races, however, is that Perez was only on the podium twice and Verstappen already won seven races.
The experienced Perez rarely managed to stay close to Verstappen and made the necessary mistakes. Despite this, Red Bull is sticking to the Mexican for 2022. Team boss Christian Horner explains why.
“We thought he showed enough to justify a new contract. He knew his role for this year: helping Max and the team win the title. With a brand new car for 2022 and with the experience he has, it was of course the right and logical choice to keep him.”
Perez’s role as second driver still varies. Only in a few Grands Prix did he manage to stay close to Verstappen and the Mercedes, in order to be able to play a strategic role. Perez’s Achilles heel is formed by qualifying, in which he is often more than half a second short of Verstappen.
In his role as second driver, the Mexican is fully complacent and Horner also commends the fact that Perez sacrificed himself completely for Verstappen in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix: “The way he behaved in Monza and Max in all sessions in tow makes him the perfect team player, so it was a shame he wasn’t on the podium.”
“There are some good races coming up for Checo and I have a feeling it will be fine. He’s had some bad luck and I think that will change”, Horner also already looking ahead to the Mexican GP: “It’s going to be something.” “It will be great for Checo to experience home support at that level and I’m sure it will inspire him to do something special.”