Sergio Perez could not hide his concern in Canada after another poor showing, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso now closing in.
While Red Bull missing the narrow dry tyre window in Q2 played a major part in Perez’s failure to reach Q3 for the third race in a row, it was come race day in Canada that Perez would have been expected to deliver a solid recovery drive in the fastest car on the grid, the Red Bull RB19.
These recent recovery efforts though have effectively ended Perez’s title hopes as team-mate Max Verstappen hoovers up the wins, and Perez’s cause was further damaged by a P6 finish at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, all while Verstappen made it four wins on the trot.
Starting on the hard tyre, that strategy quickly backfired when George Russell’s shunt on Lap 12 triggered the Safety Car, thus allowing for a round of cheap pit stops, and from there Perez knew he was in for an even longer afternoon than what he had already prepared himself for.
“It was longer, a lot longer than I thought,” he told media personnel after the race.
“I think the Safety Car basically took all the opportunity away because it was looking good, we raced on that hard tyre and unfortunately it didn’t pay off.”
But even with the timing of the Safety Car not going his way, it was concerning that Perez could not get anywhere close to challenging the Ferraris ahead, with Carlos Sainz, who started just one place ahead, finishing the race 30 seconds up the road after he pitted again to grab the bonus point for the fastest lap.
Perez admits this lack of pace is of great concern, especially when he has no clear answer for what is going wrong.
“Yeah, I’m very, very concerned about that,” he replied when asked if he is disappointed that he could not pressurise Ferrari.
“We just didn’t have the pace and we don’t understand why, that’s the weird thing, so we have to figure it out.
“We’re going to sit down and look back because we know what we are capable of and it’s just important for us to understand what’s going on.
“We had a good start to the weekend, but we made some changes, we did the tyres a little bit different, so I don’t know if there’s anything in that.”
Verstappen is now 69 points clear of Perez at the top of the Drivers’ Championship with Alonso now only nine points adrift of Perez.