There’s nowhere to hide in Formula 1, less so if a driver plies his trade for one of the top teams, Red Bull in this instance, where the harsh focus on Sergio Perez’s diabolical Monaco Grand Prix weekend was telling.
Perez knows his way around Monte Carlo, he won last year’s race and is considered a street track specialist. Furthermore, with two wins this season, he fancies himself as a challenge to teammate Max Verstappen’s third F1 title in a row ambitions.
But what we saw this past weekend, from the Mexican veteran whose shares were on a high, starting with a crash early in Qualifying, not only destroyed his weekend, but the craned Red Bull RB19 gave all a view of the special floor Adrian Newey and his team devised for their all-conquering creation. It was an expensive shunt in more ways than one.
Leaving Monaco point-less and now trailing Verstappen by 39 points in the 2023 F1 WDC heading to Barcelona, for Round 7, Perez said of his misadventures: “Monaco was a disaster for me. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong.”
Checo: I can win here in Barcelona
Fortunately, the veteran has not long to wait to make amends for his Monaco waywardness, as FP1 for the Spanish Grand Prix starts on Friday: “This weekend is all about starting again and making sure we get back to the high standards we have set all season. I want to repay my Team for all their hard work with a good result in Barcelona.
“We know we have the quickest car out there on the right day and this circuit should suit us, I just need to make sure I have a perfect weekend from start to finish. “I need to be consistent to maintain any pressure on Max in the Championship.
“I need to pick up some wins. If I can get it right here [in Barcelona] the win is achievable and that’s the aim, as always,” insisted Perez who has two this season to his teammate’s four. The Mexican will make his 242nd F1 start on Sunday and will be targeting his seventh career victory in the top flight.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner laid out what his driver has to do this weekend in Barcelona: “Monaco was a difficult weekend for Checo. Despite his best efforts, there was very little he could do after Qualifying. Knowing Checo though, he will learn from his mistakes and respond quickly in Spain.”