Red Bull issue Sergio Perez with a ‘desperate’ warning ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix

Lando Norris reveals the advice Lewis Hamilton gave him

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner admits they “desperately need” Sergio Perez to start scoring more points, if they are to have any chance of beating Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton this season.

Perez has struggled over the past few races, scoring points in just three of the past six races as his team-mate Max Verstappen looks to clinch his first title this season.

Red Bull now trail Mercedes by 33 points heading to the Turkish Grand Prix, and according to Horner, Perez needs to start pulling his weight at the team.

“It’s very important, we need Sergio to start scoring strongly,” Horner said on Friday. 

“I think he scored 16 points in the last six races, which is a combination of bad luck and other misfortune. 

“So we desperately need him to get up there in the remaining races.”

Verstappen struggled during Friday’s practice session, with rain falling heavily on Saturday morning ahead of qualifying.

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When asked by Sky Sports if Red Bull would be prioritising the Drivers’ or Constructors’ Championship, Horner responded: “It’s a difficult one because you’re so conflicted because the cash is with the constructors. 

“So for every single member of the team, you know that’s where Stefano [Domenicali] pays the money out, we don’t get a penny for the drivers, but the drivers is where the prestige is. 

“So I would say in value they have equal value the prestige is with the drivers. 

“I think from a Red Bull perspective, if you had to pick one over the two, you go driver, because that’s where the prestige, but you know we want to be in that number one garage next year, that’s our target.

“Sergio has got a key role to play in that, he’s had a run of bad luck, but that will turn, and we are still throwing everything at it in both of these championships.

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After Friday’s sessions, Verstappen raised concerns for Red Bull after complaining of understeer on track, with his car snapping on the exit of corners during practice.

Handed an advantage after his main title rival Lewis Hamilton was hit with a 10-place grid penalty, the Dutchman now has a perfect opportunity to capitalise on Sunday, with two points separating the pair in the championship standings.

Yet, Verstappen was seen wrestling with the Red Bull throughout both first and second practice on Friday, complaining of various problems on the radio to the team.

“I mean we tried a few things, compared to FP1 but also FP1 wasn’t that great so we still are looking around a bit with what to do,” said Verstappen, speaking to Sky Sports F1.

“Of course, it’s very different here. We don’t have a lot of data from here with these kinds of cars so it seems like we have a bit of an evening ahead to try and make it a bit better because today wasn’t the best.

“It’s a super nice track now with normal conditions so just looking forward to the weekend to try them.

“Hopefully it will improve, otherwise it’s not looking too good [for qualifying], But we’ll see what we can do overnight.”

Hamilton, who leads the championship by just two points, won’t start higher than 11th in Istanbul after Mercedes decided to change the seven-time world champion’s internal combustion engine.

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