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Red Bull “cannot dismiss” Ferrari and McLaren threat – Horner

Red Bull are not underestimating the threat Ferrari and McLaren pose in the Championship.

Heading into the Monaco GP, rumours were accelerating about Sergio Perez’s future. It was good news for Perez, with the consensus in the F1 paddock being that a contract renewal was on the way. Even after a tricky weekend at the Principality, he is expected to earn a one-year extension. However, Red Bull boss Christian Horner is aware that Perez must rediscover his best form.

The first five rounds of the season, with the exception of Australia, were comfortable for Red Bull. Verstappen took four victories from five races, hardly seriously challenged over a race distance.

For Sergio Perez, podium finishes became the norm. Along with his teammate, the 34-year-old built a healthy lead in the Constructors standings.

However, the RB20 is no longer the undisputed fastest car. McLaren brought updates to the MCL38 in Miami, which delivered instance impact as Norris claimed victory. Since that package was introduced, Andrea Stella’s team has finished second or higher (with either Norris or Piastri) at every race.

Ferrari is also progressing rapidly, with the SF-24 receiving its own set of improvements in Imola. Both drivers at the Scuderia have race victories in 2024, and all indicators suggest they will secure many more.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – MARCH 02: A detailed view of the race helmet of Second placed Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 02, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202403020555 // Usage for editorial use only //

Red Bull call for Sergio Perez to improve form

Speaking after last weekend’s race, Christian Horner conceded that Perez cannot continue his current form:

“Obviously, we need to make sure we’ve got both cars up there scoring points because we cannot dismiss the threat of Ferrari and McLaren in both Championships,” he told Sky Sports.

“Checo’s first six races, he was very strong. He was qualifying on the front row, and finishing second and third, and scoring very well. 

“We just need to get him back into that position of confidence and not see a dip.”

There will be a flurry of races in the next two months – three in June and three in July. By the end of this period, at least a few pieces of the driver market puzzle will fall into place. Similarly, the extent to which Ferrari and McLaren are in the title battle will become clearer.

On both counts, Sergio Perez’s form will be essential. If the reigning Champions are to have any chance of keeping their crown, the 6-time race winner cannot be an afterthought among the top three teams.

Ferrari and McLaren’s driver line-ups are far too strong to allow for a major discrepancy between the Red Bull duo. Simultaneously, whether Perez can keep up at the front will determine his future at Milton Keynes.


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