Sergio Perez was miles off the pace during the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, qualifying P12 and finishing sixth, a full 50 seconds behind Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen. Prompting the question: where has the Mexican’s form gone?
A poor Q2 session for Perez left him on the starting grid in P12, making his Sunday race a lot more difficult than it needed to be.
The Red Bull veteran struggled to find any form of flow and pace to mount a challenge against teammate and reigning F1 World Champion Verstappen and only managed to finish sixth, which in terms of Red Bull and their aspirations this season, is still very poor.
When responding to the media about his race result, and if he could have done better, the 33-year-old said:
“We just didn’t have the pace today. We did struggle. I think we got hurt massively with the safety car, that it came at the wrong moment for us. Luck is not with us at the moment, but it’s how it is at the moment,” Perez explained.
The #11 RBR driver suggested the cause of a lack of pace, as he said: “Basically under braking, I think the ride hasn’t been great, so under braking, I think was the biggest thing. And it is where we think we need to come on top of and make sure that we are able to figure out what’s happening, and then come back strong.”
Taking a fight to Verstappen seems impossible this season, for any driver, Perez included, but the recent lack of pace and performance must cause some concern for the Milton Keynes team, considering how dominant their Dutch frontman has been.
The 2023 F1 World Championship stats sum up the story of woe for Perez versus Verstappen: after eight rounds of this year’s title battle the World Champ leads the standings by 69 points over his teammate when, after Baku four races ago, the gap was a mere six points.