Sergio Perez is under increasing pressure due to his declining performance compared to his teammate Max Verstappen in qualifying and race duels, leading to speculation that Red Bull may be looking to replace him despite his contract until 2024.
‣ Sergio Perez’s performance in 2023 has been disappointing and he has fallen back compared to the previous year.
‣ Perez’s qualifying duel with Max Verstappen has shown a decline in performance and the gap between them has widened.
‣ Despite his struggles, Perez still outperforms previous Red Bull teammates Gasly and Albon.
‣ Red Bull is facing a dilemma in deciding whether to replace Perez with a different driver to close the performance gap with Verstappen.
Title: Sergio Perez’s Struggles Continue as Pressure Mounts at Red Bull
The pressure on Sergio Perez is mounting at Red Bull Racing, and a closer look at the data reveals the reasons behind his struggles. After showing improvement in 2022, Perez has experienced a significant setback in 2023. This is evident in his performance against his teammate Max Verstappen in qualifying and grand prix races.
The Qualifying Duel with Verstappen:
When Perez joined Red Bull in 2021, no one expected instant miracles. He had to adapt to a new team and compete for victory on a weekly basis for the first time in his career. The final race in Abu Dhabi gave Perez a much-needed boost, and he closed the gap to Verstappen in 2022. However, in 2023, Perez’s performance dipped significantly, and he struggled to handle the pressure, resulting in multiple mistakes and a growing points gap.
Perez’s Struggles in Qualifying:
Perez has always been praised for his racecraft, but his struggles in qualifying persist. There has been a noticeable improvement from 2021 to 2022, as Perez outperformed Verstappen on a few occasions and minimized the points gap. However, in 2023, Perez’s qualifying results collapsed along with his overall performance.
Red Bull’s Perspective:
The widening points gap and declining performance have brought increased scrutiny to Perez, even though he still has a contract until 2024. Comparing his qualifying performances to other top teams, such a significant gap is rarely seen. The fact that Daniel Ricciardo, who previously raced alongside Verstappen, is now being considered for a seat at Red Bull raises doubts about Perez’s future.
The Dilemma for Red Bull:
Red Bull faces a dilemma in deciding the best course of action. While they acknowledge Perez’s decline and the need to narrow the gap to Verstappen, they also recognize that Perez has been Verstappen’s strongest teammate since Ricciardo. Bringing back Ricciardo offers no guarantees, as he faced defeat by Lando Norris during his time at McLaren. Other drivers like Albon and Sainz also failed to match Verstappen. Fernando Alonso may bring talent and name recognition, but his unpredictable nature would introduce chaos into the team.
Sergio Perez’s struggles at Red Bull Racing have become increasingly evident in his performance against Max Verstappen. Despite his decline, Perez still outperforms previous teammates, but his widening points gap and inconsistency have raised concerns within the team. Red Bull now faces the challenging task of deciding the best way forward, considering their options and the potential consequences of changing teammates once again.