Christian Horner has backed Sergio Perez to have a strong 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix, citing the Mexican’s strength on street circuits and confidence boost from finishing fourth in Brazil from ninth on the grid.
Perez arrived at Interlagos after a chastening home grand prix in Mexico City, having crashed out at the first corner due to his own mistake and seen Lewis Hamilton halve the gap for second place in the drivers’ standings.
But despite missing the podium for the sixth consecutive race, Perez put in a strong Sao Paulo performance and could clinch a Red Bull drivers’ championship 1-2 in Las Vegas – a feat the team have never achieved.
“It’s important for his confidence,” Horner told the media. “I think that was the Checo in Brazil that we know, and you know what he’s capable of.
“And that’ll give him just the boost he needs going into another street track that he’s always, you know, performed well out in Vegas. And then Abu Dhabi one week.”
Horner hails ‘brilliant’ Perez
All of Perez‘s wins for Red Bull have come on street circuits, and he’ll arrive in Las Vegas with a 32-point lead over Hamilton in the drivers’ standings.
Perez has been aided by Hamilton scoring just four points from three of his last four races, but re-asserted himself on that battle at Interlagos by bouncing back from a difficult qualifying to finish just 0.053 seconds off Fernando Alonso and the podium.
“I thought he drove brilliantly well,” Horner added. “He had a little bit of a wobble at Turn 2 which allowed Fernando – who was very quick on the straights – to have a go at him. He did his best to hang on to it.
“But I think for Checo to outscore Lewis by multiple points in Brazil, it was a very strong weekend for him. A third in the Sprint, fourth from ninth from the grid, with the yellow flag he got in qualifying, has been a very good weekend for him.”