‘Sergio Perez is broken and needs to fight his way out of a hole’

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez speaking to the media after qualifying. Azerbaijan April 2023

The season may be over but Sergio Perez is still on the clock.

Heavily criticised for his qualifying error, the catalyst for an incident-packed Monaco GP, Giedo van der Garde believes Sergio Perez is “broken” and that it’s only a matter of when Max Verstappen wins the World title.

Instead of retaining his crown as Red Bull’s street king in Monaco, Perez blotted his copybook as he crashed in Q1 with his RB19 suffering heavily damage as he hit the barrier at Ste. Devote. That meant a back-of-the-grid start for the Mexican driver with Perez unable to recover.

It was an incident-packed race for the championship hopeful who hit Lance Stroll and then Kevin Magnussen, as well as a few barriers.

The latter meant he had to make an unscheduled pit stop for a new front wing, costing him positions. He finished the race down in 16th place and was twice lapped by his team-mate Verstappen who clinched the victory.

While Verstappen pulled 39 points clear in the Drivers’ standings, Perez found himself in Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko’s firing line, the 80-year-old calling his qualifying crash a “stupid mistake”.

Speaking after the grand prix, he doubled down on that telling ServusTV the driver’s error was “not irresponsible, but unreasonable”, adding that because of that it “didn’t matter” that he had bad Sunday afternoon.

However, former F1 driver turned pundit Ralf Schumacher feels the driver deserves a “little support”, after all Verstappen is the “better” driver.

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“You have to be fair, he has shown great races this season and the points show how strong Red Bull is,” he told Sky Deutschland.

“This weekend he made a mistake and Monaco is a track that doesn’t forgive mistakes.

“We know that Max Verstappen is the better and more consistent driver.

“You should give him a little support because a weekend like this is not easy for him. Last year he won here, this year he comes away empty-handed.”

His fellow pundit Timo Glock urged the Mexican driver to “fight his way out of the hole” and get back into the title race.

“It hurts for Checo,” said the former Toyota driver. “He knows very well that with such a deficit on points it will be difficult against Max Verstappen, who has such consistency and is flawless.

“He has to fight his way out of the hole and must see that he finds his way back to his old strength.”

But Van der Garde believes that will be easier said than done.

Grandpx.news quotes the Dutchman as having told Ziggo Sport that Perez is “broken, especially when you see the mess he’s made here.

“He hit the wall, hit three other cars, knocked two front wings off. It just didn’t stop.”

He added: “If Max keeps going like this, he will definitely be World Champion a few races before the end.”