Failing to make it out of Q2 in Hungary, Helmut Marko says Sergio Perez seems to have already be in the “summer slump”.
Perez will line up P11 on the Hungaroring grid, the Mexican driver off the pace in the final grand prix weekend before Formula 1 heads off for its summer break.
The driver has been roughly seven-tenths shy of his team-mate Max Verstappen in every session building up to Q2 where again, now eight-tenths down, he failed to progress.
Marko isn’t at all impressed.
“Perez is too far away from Max at the moment,” he told Sky Germany on Saturday evening. “That was the difficult situation in all the sessions.
“We have to sit down together.
“The summer slump isn’t here yet, but he seems to have fallen into it.”
❌ ELIMINATED IN Q2 ❌
Despite the reprieve on track limits Perez can't improve his time enough to make Q3
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 30, 2022
Although Perez began this season on a par with the reigning World Champion, he has fallen behind him in recent races.
Perez puts that down to Red Bull’s upgrades, saying they are “going away” from him and that he is less comfortable in the car.
Marko reckons the solution for that is for Perez to copy Verstappen’s set-up.
“He has to stick to Max again in the set-up,” said the 79-year-old.
“He has to be there from the first practice session. If you’re a second away in the first practice session, you won’t catch up.”
But revealing that Perez had a similar issue last season, the Red Bull motorsport advisor says they “got rid of it last year, so we have to see that it settles down a bit.”
As for Perez, he blames an incident with Kevin Magnussen for failing to make it out of Q2.
“It was very unfortunate because I lost a few tenths, I missed out on Q3 by a few hundredths and then going into Turn 2 I lost a lot with Kevin, a few tenths,” he told Sky Sports.
“I just had to go very deep on the corner, and I couldn’t recover afterwards.”
He’ll line up 11th on the grid with Verstappen P10 after the Dutchman lost power on his final run in Q3.
Looking ahead to the Hungarian Grand Prix
The Hungarian Grand Prix is the final race before Formula 1's summer break.