Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez’s struggles could help Red Bull win F1 2023 title

F1 pundit Billy Monger suggests that the recent decline in performance for Sergio Perez may actually benefit Red Bull, despite the Mexican driver’s aspirations for a title challenge against teammate Max Verstappen in the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Perez began the season strongly, securing victories in the Saudi Arabian and Azerbaijan Grands Prix, along with a sprint race win in Azerbaijan. He seemed poised to pose a significant challenge to Verstappen and engage in a title battle with his Red Bull counterpart for the first time. However, consistency has eluded Perez in his recent outings, with no appearances in Q3 or podium finishes in the last three races.

Previously just six points behind Verstappen after his Baku triumph, Perez now finds himself trailing the dominant Dutchman by 69 points. Nevertheless, Monger believes this turn of events may not be entirely detrimental to Red Bull, who have claimed all eight wins offered thus far in the 2023 season.

Monger argues that the potential rivalry between Red Bull’s drivers could have added tension within the team, possibly leading to a decline in their overall performance. With Perez’s form slipping, Red Bull can now rely on Verstappen’s consistent victories without the pressure of an intense internal battle.

“It’s a well-oiled machine,” Monger commented on Red Bull while speaking on Channel 4. “Over the last few races, we’ve seen Perez’s form dip, and it’s almost eased any tensions that the team had. Now they just know that Max Verstappen is probably going to win the Grand Prix for them most weekends. They’re hoping Perez will bounce back, but there was a point early in the season where I thought the closeness between the two drivers could be their downfall.”

Nevertheless, Monger points out that Perez needs to regain his competitive edge against Verstappen if he wishes to secure his place in a prestigious team like Red Bull.

While Perez may attribute his lackluster performance in the Canadian Grand Prix to the team’s decision to miss the dry tyre window in qualifying, his struggles in the race were concerning. Finishing in sixth place, 30 seconds behind Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari despite starting just one place behind him, raises questions about Perez’s recent drop in performance.

Monger finds it perplexing, stating, “At the start of the season, it looked like Perez was going to be in the fight for the championship with Max. He was really up for it, and now he’s nowhere near Verstappen. Max has reached another level, while Perez has fallen behind. Not making it to Q3 with the best car on the grid is frustrating for him. He must be confused about where it has all gone wrong recently.”

Red Bull now faces a double-header of home races, starting with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring followed by the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. These races provide an opportunity for both Verstappen and Perez to regroup and deliver strong performances on familiar turf.