Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believes Sergio Perez’s recent improved run in Formula 1 has emerged from him “focusing more on the basics” again.

Since winning two of the first four races, Perez had endured an alarming slump that culminated with a torrid run of only scoring five points between Singapore and Qatar.

Amid Horner claiming the team would need to “sit down” with Perez, the Mexican proceeded to conduct a three-day run in the simulator at Red Bull’s Milton-Keynes base.

Having been denied a potential front-row starting berth in Friday’s qualifying by Oscar Piastri sliding wide at Juncao in changeable conditions, Perez charged through the field from ninth to score his best result since the Italian Grand Prix at the start of September.

Although Fernando Alonso triumphed over Perez in the thrilling battle for third by only 0.053s, Horner credited Perez for a strong weekend display at the Interlagos circuit.

“I thought he drove brilliantly well,” Horner said on Sunday at Interlagos.

“He had a little bit of a wobble at [Turn] 2, which allowed Fernando, who was pretty quick on the straights today, to have a go. He did his best to hang on to it though.

“But I think for Checo to outscore Lewis [Hamilton] by 12 points this weekend, it’s been a very strong weekend for him. 

“A third in the Sprint, fourth from ninth on the grid with the yellow flag he got in qualifying, I think there’s been very good points for him.”

(L to R): Dr Helmut Marko (AUT) Red Bull Motorsport Consultant and Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing on the grid. 04.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sprint Day.

Perez had previously admitted that his mid-season collapse in form had originated from Red Bull’s RB19 charger being developed away from his preferred driving style.

Asked what had been altered to consolidate Perez’s comfort in the car, Horner explained: “I think he’s focusing more on the basics. And I think that’s coming together for him.” 

Perez highlighted that his run to fifth in Austin had disguised the breakthrough he had made, but the 33-year-old was immediately on the pace in Brazil.

While his qualifying for the grand prix was compromised, Perez posted a time within a tenth of team-mate Max Verstappen in the Shootout before securing third in the Sprint.

Horner, who has repeatedly insisted Perez will remain at Red Bull in 2024, believes the six-time F1 race winner has returned to his best ahead of the remaining two rounds.

“I think it was important for his confidence,” Horner asserted. “This is the Checo that we know, and we know what he is capable of.

“It will give him just the boost he needs going to Vegas, another street track that he always performs well at. And then it’s Abu Dhabi one week after.”

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