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Horner admits Perez not scoring points is ‘unsustainable’ after ‘frustrating’ weekend at Silverstone

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NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing prepares to drive

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has acknowledged that it is “unsustainable” for Sergio Perez to not be scoring points following another disappointing weekend for the Mexican at the British Grand Prix, in which he exited qualifying in Q1 before ending Sunday’s race down in P17.

Having missed out on participating in first practice on Friday to allow rookie Isack Hadjar to get behind the wheel, Perez looked to be in good form in second practice after ending that session up in P3 on the timesheets.

READ MORE: Verstappen hails ‘right calls’ from Red Bull in helping to seal P2 at Silverstone

However, disaster hit on Saturday when the 34-year-old beached his RB20 in the gravel during the opening stages of qualifying, meaning that he was unable to continue in the session. The team subsequently took the opportunity to fit the car with a new engine, resulting in Perez starting from the pit lane.

An early gamble on the intermediate tyres did not pay off and, having lost time through that, Perez could finish no higher than 17th place. It marked another tough outing for the six-time race winner, who has not stood on the podium since the Chinese Grand Prix in April, while his best result in the last six rounds was a P7 in Austria.

With Max Verstappen being the squad’s sole points scorer in P2, Horner admitted there has to be points coming from the other side of the garage in the races ahead amid an increasing challenge in the constructors’ championship from their rivals.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20

Perez's early switch onto the intermediate tyres failed to pay off at Silverstone

“[Perez] knows it’s unsustainable to not be scoring points – we have to be scoring points in that car, and he knows that,” the Team Principal said. “He knows his role and his target, so nobody is more eager than Checo to find his form again.”

Horner went on to add: “It’s something we’re acutely aware of, that to win the constructors’ championship you need both cars scoring.”

READ MORE: Hamilton beats Verstappen to first win since 2021 with record-breaking 9th British Grand Prix victory

With Perez having signed a contract extension with the team last month that will see him race for them through to the end of 2026, Horner was quizzed on whether there was a sense of frustration over the deal having seemingly not helped the driver on track.

“Of course there’s frustration when both of your cars aren’t performing collectively, and I think it was frustrating to lose Checo in Q1 yesterday,” he responded. “He’d missed P1 because of Isack Hadjar driving, he’d had a decent P2, but he should have been around the top six, and to lose that car in Q1 was very frustrating so, yeah, that’s where we’re at.”

Horner confirmed that Perez will be running a new floor at the next round on the calendar in Hungary, an update that was brought to Verstappen’s car during the British Grand Prix weekend.

Perez: ‘It was a total disaster… a nightmare of a race’

Meanwhile, Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson is set to participate in an upcoming test session for the team at Silverstone – just as Daniel Ricciardo did last summer, which prompted the decision for the Australian to replace the struggling Nyck de Vries at the then-named AlphaTauri squad.

Asked about the parallels between Lawson’s test and Ricciardo’s – and whether a driver line-up shuffle could potentially be on the cards amid Perez’s recent struggles – Horner answered: “The Liam test aero run has been planned for a couple of months now.

HIGHLIGHTS: Hamilton claims victory over Verstappen and Norris in wet/dry Silverstone classic

“Checo, of course he’s under pressure – that’s normal in Formula 1 – but when you’re underdelivering, that pressure only mounts, and he’s aware of that. He knows that. This weekend, nothing’s really gone his way.

“We took a gamble in the race – he started on the hard tyre, was making decent progress early on in the race. The rain started to arrive, he was P15 or P16 at the time. You roll the dice a little at that point, as they [Ferrari] did with Leclerc.

“He went on the inter, if the race had picked up he’d have looked a hero – it didn’t, so you don’t, and then he had an extra stop. The time loss of being on an inter on a drying track was haemorrhaging a lot of time for him. Obviously a lot to look at from over the weekend.”

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