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Horner details Perez's mentality problem in Verstappen battle

Horner details Perez's mentality problem in Verstappen battle

Horner details Perez's mentality problem in Verstappen battle

Horner details Perez's mentality problem in Verstappen battle

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said that Sergio Perez comparing himself to three-time world champion Max Verstappen is what's holding the Mexican back.

Perez has been largely outperformed by his team-mate in all three of the seasons they've spent together at Red Bull, with Verstappen going on to claim three successive world championship titles.

This gulf in performance was never more evident than in 2023, when the dominant Dutchman managed to finish 290 points above Perez, winning 19 races.

While Perez won two of the opening four grands prix of the season, he didn't win another one all season despite driving what's been described as the 'most successful car of all time'.

Sergio Perez beat Max Verstappen to victory at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, his most recent win
Sergio Perez has been under pressure for his Red Bull seat
Sergio Perez's team-mate Max Verstappen cruised to a third consecutive title in 2023

Perez to step back from Verstappen

Perez's poor form has placed his position at the Milton Keynes-based team under huge pressure, with his contract expiring at the end of 2024.

Now, Horner is pleading with Perez to focus on his own performances, rather than trying to compare himself to Verstappen.

“Being Max's team-mate is the most difficult job in the paddock,” Horner told the Eff Won podcast.

“Checo has done great over the past three years. Just look at the race in Japan, for example. Max's first lap is immediately two seconds faster than what the rest do. You look at that data and think 'How does he do that again?'

"Checo's problem is that he keeps comparing himself to Max. What he needs to do is put Max out of his mind. Focus on yourself, be the best version of yourself. As we saw earlier in the season, that is sufficient.”

READ MORE: Former boss reveals he would 'IMMEDIATELY' replace Perez with F1 rookie

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