Sergio Perez could only claim a solitary point in Qatar, after picking up multiple penalties during the race at Lusail.
The Mexican is just 30 points clear of Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship, having only scored a solitary point after being classified in 10th at the chequered flag in Qatar.
Perez had finished ninth on the road, but dropped down to 10th as a result of a further five-second time penalty applied to his race time.
Sergio Perez exceeds track limits on six occasions
Perez picked up a black and white flag after three track limits violations during the Qatar GP, picking up a five-second time penalty with his fourth transgression.
Serving this at his pit-stop, he quickly picked up another five-second time penalty as he exceeded track limits for a fifth time – serving this penalty at his final stop.
He would then exceed track limits once again in the closing stages, with this penalty being added to his race time.
Having failed to capitalise on Lewis Hamilton’s retirement to solidify his second place in the Drivers’ Championship, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner didn’t mince his words as he spoke to the media afterward.
“Checo [Perez] has had a bit of a shocker of a race,” Horner said.
“He’s had a horrible weekend, the incident yesterday. And then, unfortunately, the three penalties that he got in the race.
“Without those penalties, when you add 15 seconds to his time, suddenly he’s a lot further up the points scoring on a day that Lewis didn’t score, so it was a missed opportunity to really try and cement that second place.
“But we just need to get that form that he showed at the beginning of the season back and we know he’s got it within him.”
Christian Horner: Red Bull not seeing the best of Sergio Perez
With Perez’s latest disaster coming just 24 hours after his retirement from the Sprint, as well as a terrible race in Japan, Horner said Red Bull are determined to help the Mexican driver through his slump.
“Nothing’s really fundamentally changed that much,” Horner said.
“So I think that you can see that he’s got into a little bit of a spiral and he just needs to sort of put the brakes on that and reset.
“Use this period, the two weeks now, to come back in Austin – another Sprint weekend – and really attack it and do the best that he can and extract the most out of himself like he was at the beginning of the year.
“We’re determined… we’re not seeing the best of Sergio, we need to unpick what it is that’s causing this slump in formed from them and we’re going to support him as much as we can to to achieve that.”