Christian Horner has challenge Sergio Perez to bring his “A-game” in 2023 amid threats to Red Bull’s Formula 1 titles.
The Milton Keynes squad claimed the 2022 Constructors’ Championship with Perez delivering two wins and third place in the standings as teammate Max Verstappen took 15 wins and the title.
The Dutchman led Perez home in a Red Bull one-two in the 2023 season-opener, with Horner insisting the four-time Grand Prix winner needs to be on top form amid threats from Ferrari, Mercedes and Fernando Alonso.
Horner’s Perez challenge
“Max is a hell of a competitor and he’s a tough, probably the highest benchmark in Formula 1,” Horner told media, including RacingNews365, before the Bahrain Grand Prix.
“But Checo is now in his third year in the team, he’s confident, he’s comfortable and he’s got to be on his A-game, and not just with Max.
“Fred’s [Vasseur, Ferrari] drivers are pushing each other hard, Mercedes’ drivers are hard, we’ve got what looks like a pretty motivated veteran in a green car as well, so it’s going to be a really exciting year and I think there’s going to be some great racing ahead of us.”
Where RB19 is most improved
At the start of the 2022 season, Red Bull’s car was overweight with the team battling to lose it throughout the season.
With the roll-out of the RB19, Horner also pinpointed the weight loss as the key change from the all-conquering RB18.
“I think that the weight loss that it’s had is impressive,” he said.
“At times last year, we were running up to 10kg overweight, so, I think the whole team have done a great job to get down to the limit. But Formula 1 is constant evolution. It’s constantly refining and developing all elements.
“Look, RB18 was a great car but obviously the regulation changes over the winter, the revision to the aero rules, they throw in some curveballs. So, you never quite know: ‘Have we done enough? Have we adapted enough?’
“It’s only when you see the other cars and then you start to see the lap times come in, that you start to form a picture.”