David Coulthard: Sergio Perez paid price for overconfidence after Jeddah win

Jamie Woodhouse
Sergio Perez looks out after qualifying. Abu Dhabi November 2022.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez looks out at the crowd after qualifying. Abu Dhabi November 2022.

Sergio Perez followed his Saudi Arabian GP win up with a terrible start to the Australian GP weekend, which David Coulthard reckons was down to overconfidence.

When Verstappen dropped out of qualifying in Saudi Arabia with a driveshaft failure, the door opened for his Red Bull team-mate Perez to take pole, an achievement which he pulled off for the second year in a row at that venue.

And when the Mexican racer went on to win the Grand Prix, remaining comfortably out of reach of Verstappen even after a Safety Car restart when Verstappen had worked his way through the pack, it had many talking about Perez as a potential title challenger.

And Perez himself made it known that this was his aim, and that he felt the best prepared yet in Red Bull colours to chase that achievement.

The following round in Australia though was a bit of a wake-up call if Perez is to stay in the fight, a very scruffy final practice session followed by a trip into the gravel on his first Q1 push lap, and that was all she wrote for Perez.

Red Bull have seemingly countered Perez’s claims that something was not right with the RB19, and while he did recover to P5 at the chequered flag, Verstappen nonetheless was able to extend his Drivers’ Championship lead with victory ahead of the next F1 2023 battleground.

And former Red Bull driver Coulthard thinks Perez simply got overconfident after his Jeddah heroics, claiming that Perez had hit the brakes 20 meters later than even Verstappen had when he got beached in the gravel during Q1.

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“Free practice off the track, qualifying, bins it on the first lap,” Coulthard began when speaking on Channel 4 about Perez’s woes.

“I think he was overconfident, coming off the back of his victory in Saudi.

“It turns out he braked 20 meters later on that first run than even Max Verstappen, that is a rather optimistic lunge into Turn 3 which took him to the barrier.”

All is not lost for Perez, as the gap to Championship leader Verstappen is only 15 points, though it is errors like those which Perez cannot afford if he is to sustain the challenge to deny Verstappen a third World Championship in as many seasons.