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Horner makes brutally honest Verstappen F1 team-mate claim as Perez rumours swirl

Horner makes brutally honest Verstappen F1 team-mate claim as Perez rumours swirl

Horner makes brutally honest Verstappen F1 team-mate claim as Perez rumours swirl

Horner makes brutally honest Verstappen F1 team-mate claim as Perez rumours swirl

Christian Horner has said that Sergio Perez is 'psychologically strong' enough to be Max Verstappen's team-mate, a trait which he feels is important when considering options for 2025.

Perez is under intense pressure to keep his seat with the team beyond next season, with a number of talented drivers lining up for the prospect of driving with the world champions.

The Mexican has been outperformed by Verstappen in all three seasons that the pair have been team-mates, but it's largely considered that almost all other drivers would suffer the same fate.

However, it was Perez's inability to secure more than two race victories in a car that has been described as the 'most successful in history' that has led to rumours around his position.

Horner has consistently batted away the rumours by stating that Perez is under contract until the end of 2024, but that line will become harder and harder to use as we head through the 2024 season.

Sergio Perez struggled in 2023 to keep up with Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen has won three consecutive world championships
Christian Horner has stuck by Sergio Perez so far

Verstappen difficult to partner

Now, Horner has revealed that Perez's acceptance to be second to Verstappen is one of the main characteristics he is looking for ahead of 2025.

“If you’re not psychologically strong you won’t cope being [Max’s] teammate, it’s as simple as that,” Horner told the Sky F1 podcast.

“He’s just relentless in his pace, in the way that he operates.

“I think that’s one of the positives for Checo, he’s had the strength of character of being able to deal with that.

“We’ve seen that break others in the past. It’s a tough gig to be his team-mate.

“We always field the most competitive cars we can,” the Brit added. “There’s never a difference between the two cars.

“We had an era with Sebastian [Vettel] where he was incredibly dominant and it was difficult to be his team-mate.

“Now with Max, exactly the same thing. He’s a machine. He’s certainly the best driver currently in F1 as a three-time world champion and to be his team-mate is incredibly tough.”

READ MORE: All of Verstappen's F1 records and the ones which elude him

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