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Christian Horner couldn’t watch Checo Perez: Didn’t look like he has three kids

Checo Perez produced some brilliant racing at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, especially when overtaking the Mercedes cars

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In a display of audacity that left Red Bull team boss Christian Horner with his heart in his mouth, Sergio Perez delivered a performance at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix that was nothing short of spectacular, particularly noted for his daring manoeuvres in the 130R corner. 

Perez‘s stellar race in Suzuka secured him the second spot on the podium, right behind Red Bull teammate and reigning world champion, Max Verstappen

This marked Perez‘s third podium in just the fourth race of the 2024 season, keeping him in close contention for the world championship, only 13 points adrift from Verstappen.

His actions at Suzuka, especially in a car flying at high speeds, hinted at a man without the weight of parental responsibilities, as Horner humorously remarked: “It didn’t look like he had three kids when he did those manoeuvres.”

Reflecting on his current form, which starkly contrasts his post-2023 summer break performances, Perez expressed optimism, “I think we have good momentum,” highlighting the positive trajectory Red Bull has been on this season.

The weekend in Suzuka saw Perez putting up a formidable show right from qualifying, securing a P2 on the grid. Although he couldn’t surpass Verstappen at the start, Perez maintained a solid performance, despite a few hiccups, including a minor off-track excursion in the second Degner bend that led to a temporary setback. 

“I just drove over the kerb and hoped I wouldn’t damage myself because it’s quite easy with these underfloors. But as far as I know, we didn’t have any,” Perez admitted.

Japan challenges for Perez

The challenges Perez faced were compounded by tyre degradation, a critical factor that necessitated an early pit stop and initially cost him a position to McLaren‘s Lando Norris

However, Perez‘s resilience shone through as he managed to reclaim his position and secure second spot by overtaking Charles Leclerc in a later stint.

Horner lauded Perez‘s weekend performance, pointing out his close pace to Verstappen and strong race strategy. However, it was Perez‘s bold moves through the 130R that captured Horner’s attention and concern. 

Race winner Max Verstappen and Second placed Sergio Perez after the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Race winner Max Verstappen and Second placed Sergio Perez after the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Despite the high-risk nature of these manoeuvres, Perez found the experience exhilarating, “No, it was fun,” he said, laughing off the perceived danger and showcasing the thrill that comes with top-tier racing.

Perez‘s fearless approach, combined with his strategic acumen, underscores the Mexican driver’s critical role in Red Bull’s pursuit of dominance in Formula 1. 

With Horner and the Red Bull team closely watching, this Perez is one that could drive his way to a contract extension with the team, as his audacity and skill will undoubtedly be pivotal in any Red Bull championship aspirations.

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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