Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed he is set for crunch talks with Sergio Perez in a bid to help him rediscover his early season form as the struggling star continues to flounder.
Perez, who won two of the first four races in the 2023 season, has collected only five points from his last three races and finished in 10th at the Qatar Grand Prix.
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He also failed to pick up any points from the sprint race after being involved in a three-car accident.
In comparison, his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen picked up 69 points and secured his third world title at the Losail Circuit on Sunday.
Despite having wrapped up the Constructors’ Championship this season, Red Bull is yet to secure a one-two finish in the Drivers’ Championship, an ambition Horner is desperate to realise.
It’s why the Red Bull boss will do his utmost to speak with the Mexican star and find out exactly why he’s strayed so far from his early performances.
“I think we really need to sit down with Checo because we know what he’s capable of and he’s really not hitting that form at the moment,” Horner told reports in Qatar.
“We desperately need him to find his form to keep that second place in the championship.
“So yeah, frustrating that he’s only come out of the weekend with one point and I think even starting from the back of the grid there was a chance to score heavily today, or decently.
“But we’ll support him as much as we can because with the triple header coming up, there’s a huge amount of points coming up with sprint races as well.”
In Perez’s last three races, he finished eighth in Singapore, was forced to retire in Japan and secured 10th in Qatar.
It is a run of form that doesn’t not exactly inspire confidence and will invite greater pressure with Daniel Ricciardo lingering in the background having been locked in for another season at sister team AlphaTauri.
Although Horner felt Perez’s recent struggles are part of a larger mental battle, there’s also an element of him struggling to assert his driving style on the Red Bull car.
“I think when you get into a spiral like that the two things become intertwined,” Horner said.
“You need to just sometimes take your foot, put it on the floor, stop the merry-go round and just go back to basics. That’s what we’ll do.
“We all know what Checo’s capable of and we want to support him to get back into a position, where … even as near ago as Monza he was finishing second place to Max.”
At the time of writing, Perez sits second in the standings with 224 points but Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton is only 30 points behind in third.
With just five races to go, Perez will have to find his confidence from somewhere to stave off Hamilton’s charge for second place.
Originally published as Sergio Perez set for crunch talks with Red Bull amid worrying ‘spiral’