Christian Horner says the way Sergio Pérez drove during Sunday’s British Grand Prix was ‘phenomenal’, with the Mexican climbing from the back of the pack to finish second after being forced to pit early with a broken front wing.
Pérez was hit on the opening lap after the restart by Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, an incident that broke the front wing and necessitated an early pit stop for repairs. He fell to the back of the pack but fought back superbly to get himself into the points, and then benefitted from Esteban Ocon’s on-track stoppage and the subsequent safety car to pit for fresh tyres.
The Mexican was then able to fight passed both Lewis Hamilton and Leclerc to claim second place and score a good number of points on a day where it looked like it was not going to be possible.
“It was a phenomenal performance today from Checo after the damage he sustained to the front wing end-plate on the first lap, we had to change the nose and his drive back through the field was just sensational,” said Horner, the Team Principal at Oracle Red Bull Racing.
“He benefitted from the safety car which enabled us to put on a fresh set of tyres, but his pace and race-craft was just exceptional.”
Whereas Pérez was able to fight through the field to claim a podium at Silverstone, team-mate Max Verstappen was heading the other way, with debris causing damage to his floor after just taking over the lead.
Verstappen lost a lot of downforce and driveability with this RB18 as a result and was unable to maintain the pace he had been showing, ultimately falling down the order to seventh at the chequered flag.
“For Max, he’d taken the lead and was in a commanding position but unfortunately some debris did a lot of damage to the floor of the car which lead to a massive loss of downforce,” Horner said.
“It was unfortunate because I think it would have been a fantastic race for him today, but every point counts and he fought as hard for P7 as he would for the win.”
Horner admitted the biggest result of the day was both Zhou Guanyu and Alexander Albon escaping injury in what was a huge crash at turn one on the opening lap of the race.
“The Biggest result today is that all drivers are in reasonable shape considering the scale of the crashes we saw today and we hope to see Alex and Zhou fighting fit in Austria next week,” Horner added.