In a Qatar Grand Prix dominated by newly topped three-time world champion Verstappen, team-mate Perez climbed from a pitlane begin to classify 10th – however solely after copping three five-second penalties for exceeding observe limits on six events.
Amid Perez’s ongoing struggles, Purple Bull crew boss Horner said his driver now needs to be sat down and “go back to basics” to rediscover his confidence forward of the US, Mexico and Brazilian GP triple-header.
However for now he believes Purple Bull has misplaced a driver pairing – similar to the evenly matched McLaren (Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri), Ferrari (Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz) and Mercedes (Lewis Hamilton, George Russell) line-ups – which it might rely on earlier within the season.
“I believe with a automobile like we’ve got, he is in all probability placing that strain on himself,” mentioned Horner.
“An important factor for us is successful each [drivers’ and teams’] championships. We have accomplished that.
“After which, what is the subsequent neatest thing after that will be to have each your drivers first and second.
“You’ll be able to see Mercedes have a pair, McLaren have a pair, Ferrari have a pair which might be fairly tight between the respective drivers.
“I believe we have had that on the earlier level within the yr. However because the season has gone on it is turn into extra variant.
“We simply must get Checo again to the perfect type that he is able to.”
Sergio Perez, Purple Bull Racing
Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Horner believes that it’s Perez’s psychological, moderately than bodily, situation holding him again presently, though the Mexican is working with a psychological coach.
Requested if he was involved about carrying a mismatched driver pairing into subsequent yr, with Perez beneath contract for 2024, Horner added: “The frustration is that we all know what Checo has been able to doing.
“In fact, final yr and this yr, he is contributed considerably to the constructors’ championship. We desperately need him to seek out that type and as a crew; we’d like him to.
“We won’t afford to have a giant cut up as a result of if, as you’d count on, the grid continues to concertina subsequent yr, we’d like each drivers delivering on the high of the sport.”
Horner insisted Purple Bull is “going to offer all of the assist that we presumably can” to assist Perez amid hypothesis the crew might change its driver line-up early subsequent yr.