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Horner provides Perez with huge challenge ahead of 2024

Horner provides Perez with huge challenge ahead of 2024

Horner provides Perez with huge challenge ahead of 2024

Horner provides Perez with huge challenge ahead of 2024

Red Bull Christian Horner has given his driver Sergio Perez some extra work to do during the 2024 season, if he wants to extend his contract beyond the end of next year.

He has said that the Mexican will need to improve on his average qualifying position by putting in times that are a bit closer to supreme team-mate Max Verstappen.

Perez finished 290 points behind world champion Verstappen last season and only managed to claim two race victories, despite driving what's been described as the 'most successful F1 car ever'.

It was his qualifying performances that often let him down, only managing to secure one top four start in the last 17 races of the season. That, of course, led to the 33-year-old scrambling for position during race starts and regularly getting involved in scraps.

Sergio Perez's qualifying performances were disappointing in 2023
Sergio Perez has been under pressure to keep his seat with the world champions, after a difficult 2023
Max Verstappen cruised to his third consecutive world championship in 2023

Perez's poor qualifying performances

Now, Horner has told Perez that he needs to improve on his qualifying performances, stating that the Mexican can still prove he is the man to be Verstappen's team-mate long-term.

"Checo is a very capable racer and being Max's team-mate is a very tough gig," he told Sky Sports.

"I think he has shown real mental strength to be able to cope with that. The area he needs to focus on is Saturday; making sure that his average qualifying is a lot closer to Max.

"We need him starting further up the grid, particularly if the grid is going to converge. We can't afford to have a lot of cars between him and Max."

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