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‘He knows what’s at stake’ – Horner backs Perez to find his form after ‘horrible’ weekend in Canada

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SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 20: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing and Oracle Red Bull

Sergio Perez had a weekend to forget in Canada, following hot on the heels of an equally frustrating one in Monaco. The Mexican dropped out of qualifying in Q1 in both races and didn’t see the chequered flag at either venue, with his boss Christian Horner swift to have his say on Perez’s form.

Canada was the first race after Red Bull announced that Perez would stay with the team for another two seasons, but despite that show of support, Perez struggled from the off in Montreal.

A Q1 exit left him down the back of the field and in the worst of the spray for the start of the race, with opening lap contact with Pierre Gasly’s Alpine fortunately not worthy of a stewards’ investigation.

READ MORE: 6 Winners and 5 Losers from Montreal – Who capitalised on the chaos in Canada?

But later on, Perez lost the car all by himself after dipping two wheels on the wet stuff, spinning into the barriers and breaking his rear wing, which led to a retirement and a three-place grid drop for Barcelona for driving the car in an unsafe condition.

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“It was a horrible weekend for Checo and we’ve picked up some damage so he’ll need to come back strong in Barcelona,” Christian Horner said afterwards.

“Thankfully Ferrari had a shocker today and didn’t pick up any points so that let us off the hook somewhat. But we need both cars scoring, we got away with it today, but we need Checo back to where he was at the beginning of the year from Barcelona onwards.”

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Perez started the year strongly, with four podium finishes from the first five races. But after being pipped to the rostrum in Miami, the Mexican has struggled – eighth in Imola being followed by two DNFs.

“You see this with Checo time and time again, you think he’s on the ropes and then he bounces back,” continued Horner. “He’s a tough racer, a tough character. It hurts him more than anyone else and he’ll be determined to come back and show everybody the form we know he’s capable of and the form he showed in the first four races of the year.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 08: 16th placed qualifier Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing

Perez knows he needs to start delivering strong results again – starting in Spain

“The margins are fine – he knows what’s at stake, we need him performing at the top of his game. The constructors’, we have three teams that are nipping at our heels, and you have to be firing on all cylinders.”

READ MORE: Verstappen hails team for staying calm in ‘crazy race’ as he takes victory in eventful Canadian GP

As Horner said, with Ferrari failing to score in Canada, Red Bull actually increased their margin in the constructors’ championship to 49 points thanks to Verstappen’s win.

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