One year one from his maiden win in Monaco where Sergio Perez shed tears of joy on the top step of the Formula One podium, the same twisty track around the tights streets of the principality have most probably finished Chico’s shot at the 2023 drivers’ title.
With the Red Bull car clearly dominant this season, Perez realises only he or his team mate can win the F1 drivers’ world championship.
Red Bull dominance similar to 2016 Mercedes
It was the same back in 2016 where the Mercedes pairing of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton won 19 form 21 races, from Monaco onwards it was clear the title was going to themes dominant team.
Monaco was also the sixth contested round then as now and following Hamilton’s win in the principality he was suffering a points deficit of 24 points to Rosberg.
Of course Lewis took it down to the last race of the year. A string of four consecutive wins at the final four rounds of the year meant Hamilton was in with a shot at the title yet.
However, Rosberg needed to finish just third to claim the championship and during the closing laps Hamilton slowed the pace allowing the pack to catch his team mate who was in second place.
Perez is no Rosberg
Despite a valiant effort from Vettel, Rosberg remained in P2 and claimed his maiden F1 drivers’ crown.
Perez is now 39 points behind Max Verstappen and whilst there is an extra race for Checo compared with the Rosberg 2016 season, his hopes are all but dashed after his shocking performance at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.
Perez is no Rosberg given the German finished his career with 23 wins from 206 starts.
Checo by comparison has already 241 starts and just 6 F1 victories to his name.
Messy racing skills from Sergio
The Mexican driver is also in his third season driving a championship winning car as was Rosberg when he won his title and then retired. So Sergio has had similar opportunity to Nico but has underperformed against Max Verstappen and is unlikely to turn the 2023 season either.
It is arguable Perez weekend was ruined by his “stupid”crash in qualifying round one – as Helmut Marko descried it.
Yet Perez had the hope of making the points had be been clean and incisive during the race. Yet Checo collided with Lance Stroll ad Kevin Magnussen, changed front wing twice and bounced off a number of barriers during his ill fated attempt to come through the field.
The final classification saw Sergio two laps behind his team mate and sitting well outside the points in sixteenth place.
When asked about Perez clumsy racing skills Helmut Marko told Austrian TV, “It didn’t matter then. Everything went wrong there.”
“There” was Marko indicating the source of Chico’s problems on Saturday when he crashed into the turn one barriers travelling at least “20 kmh too fast” to make the corner according to Ralph Schumacher.
A grave faced Marko speaking to German Sky stated, “I hope that today’s mistakes are enough for the rest of the season. In general, his speed when he drove free was good. But his crash in qualifying ruined the weekend.”
A defiant Sergio Perez claimed, “That’s the first big mistake I made in the World Championship.”
Marko slams Perez mistakes
Of course the team maintain his off in Q1 in Australia was not a mechanical issue, but driver error as well despite Sergio questioning his machinery.
“With a car like that, you can’t be out in the first segment. A stupid mistake on his part,” added Marko about Perez crash in Monaco qualifying.
“Perhaps he was thinking of the fight for the title too much.”
Them will support Max
A number of commentators including Sky F1’s Anthony Davidson observed Perez “nightmare” weekend as he described has probably shifted the support within red Bull.
Given 50/50 strategy decisions between the team’s two drivers, Verstappen will now most likely be given the preferential treatment.
That said, Sergio Perez two two wins this year to date have been as a result of mechanical issues with Verstappen’s car, otherwise the Dutch driver may already have a clean sweep of 6 wins under his belt.
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 28, 2023