Horner/Perez Formula 1 Bet: Ecclestone Stands Alone in Victory

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Horner/Perez Formula 1 Bet: Ecclestone Stands Alone in Victory
Christian Horner and Sergio Pérez (credits: F1)

When Perez came back to the Japanese Grand Prix after a tough time in 2023, Horner was curious about how well he would do.

Since Perez’s best qualifying position in Japan was fourth in 2022, Horner made a bet with him. He promised a big reward if Perez could get on the front row of the starting grid.

Perez managed to do just that, but he missed out on beating his teammate Max Verstappen for pole position by a tiny margin.

When it was time for Horner to pay up, Perez revealed that he had made a separate deal with former F1 boss Ecclestone. So, the money had to go to him instead.

Horner joked about the situation, saying, “I had a bet with him [Perez] to put it on the front row because his best qualifying performance had been P4 here. But somehow, having won the bet, he told me that he owed Bernie Ecclestone exactly the same amount of money. So he’s passed that on to Bernie, who was the beneficiary from Checo’s front row. So dear old Bernie is still making money while not even being here.”

Horner/Perez Formula 1 Bet: Ecclestone Stands Alone in Victory
Sergio Pérez

Although the betting incident amused Horner, he praised Perez for his strong performance throughout the Japanese Grand Prix. Perez made daring overtaking moves, especially in the 130R corner.

Horner said, “Checo in particular has had a strong weekend, qualifying within one tenth of his teammate here. His race pace was strong, and obviously he had the disadvantage of having to come back through the traffic. And there were a couple of moments where I must admit I had my eyes shut as he went into 130R. [I thought], ‘do you need to do it there? Can you not wait for the straight?’ He didn’t look like he had three kids when he made that move.”

Perez’s good start to the season has increased his chances of staying with Red Bull in 2025, as his contract ends later this year.

Horner said that Perez needs to keep up the good work to secure his spot. “I think his confidence is high,” added Horner. “He’s very focused on the job at hand, and he’s comfortable in the team. He knows he’s out of contract for next year, so it’s his seat to lose. He’s very popular on the team, and he has started the season in the best possible way.”

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