Red Bull Racing’s team principal, Christian Horner, has set high expectations for Sergio Perez in the 2024 Formula 1 season, emphasizing the need for him to perform exceptionally to secure his future with the team. This comes as the team prepares for a demanding 24-race calendar, placing additional pressure on Perez to deliver results.
- Pressure on Perez: With the 2024 F1 season featuring an extensive 24-race calendar, Sergio Perez is under significant pressure to perform. His future with Red Bull Racing hinges on his ability to match or exceed the performance of his teammate, Max Verstappen, and to avoid on-track incidents like those that nearly cost him in the 2023 season.
- Personal Challenges and Mental Health: Perez has openly discussed the immense pressure of being Verstappen’s teammate and the challenges he faced in his personal life due to the grueling F1 schedule. These challenges led him to seek mental health support, highlighting the intense demands placed on F1 drivers.
- Horner’s Support and Expectations: Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team boss, has expressed support for Perez but has been clear about the high expectations for the 2024 season. He believes Perez performs best under pressure and emphasizes the importance of him delivering consistent results to maintain his seat at Red Bull.
In the 2023 Formula 1 season, Sergio Perez faced harsh criticism for his performance in comparison to teammate Max Verstappen. The Mexican driver struggled to extract the same level of performance from the RB19 car and was involved in several on-track collisions, nearly losing his second spot in the Drivers’ Standings to Lewis Hamilton. These challenges were not only professional but also personal, as Perez revealed the difficulties he faced balancing the demanding F1 schedule with his personal life, leading him to seek mental health support.
As Perez’s contract with Red Bull is set to expire after the 2024 season, speculation about his future has intensified. Several drivers, both within and outside the paddock, are reportedly eyeing his seat, with Daniel Ricciardo being a notable contender who has expressed his desire to retire as a Red Bull driver.
Despite these challenges, Perez has the opportunity to prove his worth in the upcoming season. Christian Horner, while acknowledging the difficulties faced by Perez, has made it clear that the expectations for 2024 are high. In a statement to Sky F1’s end-of-season review, Horner said, “It is, but Checo works best when he’s under pressure, that’s what I’ve seen with him in his time with us. He’s in the seat, it’s his seat to lose and I think there’s nothing preset for 2025, and we need him firing on all cylinders at 24 races next year to be scooping up the points, delivering race wins. Because for sure if it becomes more competitive, we can’t afford to have a big offset between him and Max. He’s aware of that, he knows he needs to deliver.”
The 2024 season thus represents a pivotal moment in Perez’s career. With the full support of his team, but also with the clear understanding of what is required of him, it’s a make-or-break year for the Mexican driver. His ability to rise to the occasion and meet the high expectations set by Horner and Red Bull will not only determine his future with the team but also his legacy in the sport.