Sergio Perez’s “incomprehensible” mistakes don’t bode well for his future especially as Red Bull have lined up three potential replacements at AlphaTauri, says Timo Glock.
On a weekend in which Max Verstappen dominated from start to finish, claiming the practice hat-trick, pole position, the race win, and the Constructors’ Championship, Perez had a nightmare race.
In the thick of the action on the opening lap, the Mexican driver was involved in an argy-bargy moment with Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz that left him with a broken front wing.
‘Sergio Perez has fallen off dramatically after a good start to the season’
That was to be one of two front wing changes he’d require during the grand prix, and it also led to his first of two penalties.
The 33-year-old was slapped with a five-second penalty for overtaking Fernando Alonso behind the Safety Car as he made his way into the pits for the first nose change.
His second penalty was for crashing into Kevin Magnussen with an ill-judged move into the Turn 11 hairpin. Again Perez’s RB19 needed a new nose.
Shortly after that the stewards announced he had a five-second penalty for causing a collision only for Perez to retire his car given the damage it had suffered.
That led to a confusing moment as roughly 10 laps later Red Bull unretired the car, sent the driver out to do a lap and serve his penalty, and then re-retired the car.
It was, as team boss Christian Horner put it, a “shocker” for Perez with the only upside being his penalty won’t over to Qatar.
For Glock, it was yet another sign of Perez’s fading confidence.
“Sergio Perez has fallen off dramatically after a good start to the season,” the former F1 driver declared in his Sky Deutschland column.
“He no longer has a chance against Verstappen and little by little his limits have been shown to him, which is why he is probably pretty mentally down.
“Some of the mistakes that Perez makes are simply incomprehensible given his experience and put him in a difficult position.”
Glock reckons even though Perez will be a Red Bull driver next season, it will “probably” be his last year with the team with Red Bull having Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda, and Liam Lawson all confirmed for AlphaTauri for next season.
“Nevertheless,” he continued, “Red Bull has said relatively clearly that Perez will continue to sit alongside Verstappen next year.
“But of course, you bring in certain drivers like Daniel Ricciardo, Liam Lawson or Yuki Tsunoda who could take over if Perez doesn’t do a good job next year either, which would probably mean he wouldn’t be in a good position if his contract was extended.”
As for Red Bull’s success in the Constructors’ Championship, the team wrapping that up with six races to spare, Glock pretty much gave all the credit for that to Verstappen, who has scored 400 of Red Bull’s 623 points.
“Winning the title at this early point in the season once again shows the incredible dominance of Red Bull and Max Verstappen,” he said. “The fact that Max could have won the team championship with his points alone says it all.
“I think we’ve seen many years of teams dominating, but Red Bull have gone one better this season.
“The way it was done was extremely impressive. Red Bull made almost no mistakes, is always strategically at the top and had no significant technical problems, so you can only take your hat off to them.”