Sergio Perez’s confidence has been improved by a set-up that is better suited to his driving style, according to Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner.
For the majority of the season, the Mexican has battled to keep up with his teammate Max Verstappen, just outqualifying him once in 2021.
Perez won his first race with the team in Baku in June, but he had a difficult six-race run between the British and Russian Grands Prix, scoring only 16 points.
He had the misfortune of being involved in a first corner collision in Hungary and a pitlane start after a power unit change in the Netherlands during that run.
Perez has bounced back recently, taking third places in both Turkey and the US.
He had one of his best qualifying efforts of the season in Austin, qualifying third just two tenths behind Verstappen’s pole pace.
The timing, according to Horner, was crucial, as it gave the team a rejuvenated Perez to help Verstappen’s championship challenge as well as the team’s constructors’ title pursuit.
“I think it’s confidence,” said Horner after the COTA event.
“It’s been coming for the last few races. Monza he was strong, Sochi he was strong, he should have been on the podium at both of those races.
“He had a strong Istanbul, and he has been on the pace all the way through this weekend. So I think it’s just confidence. We need him delivering at this time of year. It’s a great result for him today.
“I think we’re managing to find a set-up that works for him. And managing to optimise the car around his style a little more.
“There are some important races coming up, so we need doing what he did today.
“He was unlucky not to get the pole yesterday. And so it’s been been great progress for him.”
Perez is confident in his chances at his home race in Mexico City, where he has never finished higher than seventh since the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez race was returned to the calendar in 2015.
“I think we have a good package. We will be strong over there,” Perez said.
“Typically, Red Bull has been extremely strong in Mexico, so I look forward to it massively and I really hope that we can keep going on the podium again.”
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