Red Bull Max Verstappen
Red Bull Racing pilots Max Verstappen and Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez.LAPRESSE

Max Verstappen, the invincible force of Red Bull racing, scaled new heights this Formula One season. He won 19 races in total while maintaining an 18-win unbeaten record. Verstappen not only defended his drivers’ championship title but also etched his name into the history book of the sport with sheer dominance.

However, Max Verstappen’s dominance had a ripple effect on his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez. Checo kicked off the season on a high. He was poised to give Max a run for his money with equal competition. However, things went spiraling down shortly after Miami as Checo hit a massive slump. Moreover, team principal Christian Horner recently revealed that Perez perhaps lacked the mental strength to compete with Verstappen.


Christian Horner Pinpoints A Breaking Point For Sergio Perez This F1 Season!

Max Verstappen
Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing. (Credit: Twitter)

The intense world of Formula 1 often witnesses internal battles within teams. And the dynamic between teammates can play a crucial role in a team’s success. But this year, Max Verstappen’s dominant run negatively impacted his teammate Sergio Perez’s performance. Checo initially outqualified Max in the season. But once the Dutchman found his groove, he was unstoppable and invincible. As Verstappen went on to scale new heights, Perez plummeted down to hit rock bottom. He finished 200+ points behind his Red Bull teammate in the championship standings. But where did it all go crashing down for Checo?

Recently, Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, opened up on the same and pinpointed an exact moment that shattered Checo’s mental strength. Horner started off by saying that partnering up with a lethal force like Max Verstappen is an uphill battle for any driver, let alone Checo. Yet the Mexican driver tried his best. But perhaps he lacked the mental required to stay in the battle. Horner further added that Miami weekend results broke Perez from within. Verstappen fell behind in the pecking order during qualifying owing to a red flag. Thus, Checo had the position advantage yet ended up losing. That must have pinched him hard, opines Horner. Not only that, the Red Bull boss added that the unfortunate crash in Monaco also played an equivalent role in rupturing Checo’s mental strength.

Red Bull Boss Open To Consider Daniel Ricciardo As Checo’s Replacement!

Red Bull
Sergio Perez may come under pressure from Daniel Ricciardo for his Red Bull seat this year (Image: Getty Images for Oracle Red Bull)

Sergio Perez’s motorsport career is under imminent threat with Daniel Ricciardo breathing down his neck. The Australian reunited with Red Bull earlier this year as a reserve driver. But Checo’s struggle prompted Ricciardo to join sister team AlphaTauri to contest for the second seat. For context, Perez’s contract runs through the 2024 season, and the future beyond that remains uncertain for now.

Thus, Christian Horner was asked to weigh his thoughts on Daniel Ricciardo’s contendership for Red Bull’s second seat. Horner said that while he is open to considering any driver lineup, at the end of the day, he wants to respect the initial contract agreed with Checo. Of course, if the Mexican driver fails to live up to expectations, they will consider a replacement. But for now, Red Bull is willing to consider not only Ricciardo but also other available outside options.