Martin Brundle believes the time has come for Sergio Perez to “accept” Max Verstappen’s “genius” and settle for a support role to the main act.
Perez’s reputation as a ‘street circuit king’ took a sizeable hit at the Monaco Grand Prix when a costly Q1 crash sparked a horror weekend for the Mexican driver – one that resulted in zero points come race day and the embarrassment of being lapped twice by his dominant team-mate Verstappen.
Perez’s series of unfortunate events in Monte Carlo means he now finds himself 39 points behind Verstappen in his increasingly unlikely quest to be World Champion.
And Brundle, who knows what it is like to go up against some of the greatest F1 drivers to have ever graced the sport, feels like Perez should accept his title dream is over and instead focus on delivering the special moments that we all know the Red Bull driver is capable of producing on a somewhat regular basis.
“What I learned when I was in direct competition with Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen,” Brundle said in his post-Monaco GP column for Sky Sports.
“I simply couldn’t match their raw speed and gifted talents was to maximise everything that was in my control such as car race set-up, starts, in laps, out laps, traffic management and so on.
“Sergio would be better off making sure he finishes second and accepting the genius of Verstappen, and then maximise the days when he delivers his own special magic such as Singapore last year and Baku this season.”
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On the qualifying session specifically, Brundle wrote: “The driver who suffered most was last year’s winner and street circuit specialist Sergio Perez.
“Early into the first part of qualifying he simply arrived too quickly into Saint Devote Turn One and smashed into the outside barrier.
“He’d likely been a little distracted by an Alpine getting out of his way by diving into the long pit-lane exit, but whatever the reason it put a huge dent in his Red Bull car and his championship battle with team-mate Max Verstappen.
“He now leads team-mate Perez by 39 points which is approaching the equivalent of a win and a third place in hand.”