Christian Horner Expects A Ricciardo-Verstappen Dynamic To Continue With Perez

Shloke Sarkar

Red Bull Team Chief Christian Horner is expecting the 2021 lineup of Red Bull Racing, featuring Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen to replicate the challenge posed by Red Bull to Mercedes, when the lineup consisted of the Aussie driver Daniel Ricciardo, alongside Max Verstappen.

Red Bull, a team well known for victories was replaced by Mercedes at the beginning of the turbo-hybrid era and, since Ricciardo’s surprise departure, the only winning for the team is done by Dutchman Max Verstappen.

Since Ricciardo’s departure, Alex Albon, who paired Max for 2 seasons had a pair of podiums, indicating that out of 38 races, Albon was top-three in just two races (granted, he lost out two podium opportunities due to Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton).

His predecessor Pierre Gasly had a significant pace gap, which did nothing for the team. Later on, Pierre was dropped mid-season to AlphaTauri, for whom he went on to win the Italian GP.

Perez, a 10 season veteran and race winner (Sakhir Grand Prix 2020) has been brought to the team to try and match the pace of Max Verstappen, aiding in the bid to fight and, someday topple Mercedes.

Red Bull has lost results since Mercedes had two drivers competing with just one car, which belonged to Verstappen.

What Does Horner Have To Say About Perez?

Horner states that Perez will have a tough time matching Max in 2021, primarily due to limited pre-season testing (just three days) but has revealed his expectations for the lineup, which consists, for the first time since 2007 of a driver outside of the team’s junior programme.

“It’ll be very difficult to get himself up to speed in just one test, straightaway,” Horner told Autosport in an exclusive interview.”But he has the benefit of a lot of experience and, of course, we are expecting him to be close to Max and challenging – in a way that we had with Daniel Ricciardo and Max for three seasons.

“So, hopefully, Sergio can play a real, really important role for the team in getting both cars, on a consistent basis, near to the Mercedes.”

Asked about Max’s performance over the last five years of his career at Red Bull, Horner stated: “I think Max has done a great job. “I think he’s matured enormously over the last few years.

And I think what he’s extracted from the car in the last couple of years has been truly impressive. “In a car that hasn’t been as good as the Mercedes [and] to have won five races in the last two years with Honda power [as well], I think he’s done a fantastic job.

“And we just as a team need to be able to do that on a more consistent basis over the course of a 23-race season.”

Also Read: Here’s Why Horner Has No Interest In Ex-Mercedes Engine Chief Cowell

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