‘Sergio Perez is nearing the end at Red Bull after latest qualifying disaster’

Oliver Harden
Sergio Perez arrives at the circuit ahead of the British Grand Prix weekend. Silverstone, July 2023.

Sergio Perez arrives at the circuit ahead of the British Grand Prix weekend. Silverstone, July 2023.

Sergio Perez may be nearing towards the end of his Red Bull career after yet another qualifying disaster at the British Grand Prix.

That is the opinion of former W Series driver Alice Powell, who has been left confused by the Mexican’s struggles in mixed conditions.

Perez was classified a lowly 16th in a rain-affected qualifying session at Silverstone, with team-mate Max Verstappen claiming his seventh pole position of the 2023 season.

Perez’s latest qualifying disaster means he has now failed to reach Q3 for the last five rounds, having last started inside the top 10 after setting pole in Miami more than two months ago.

He has reached Q3 at just four of the 10 rounds this season, having also suffered embarrassing early qualifying exits in Australia, Monaco, Spain, Canada and Austria in a RB19 car that has won every race in 2023.

Appearing as a pundit alongside W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick during Channel 4’s television coverage of qualifying at Silverstone, Powell fears Perez’s latest failure will only intensify scrutiny on his place at Red Bull.

She said: “He was saying that he’s struggling with the car in those mixed conditions. Those mixed conditions are tricky, but me and Jamie were actually chatting saying, ‘But he’s so fast on the real, tough street circuits’, so we can’t quite work it out.

“He just doesn’t seem to perform when it really matters and [going] up against Max as a team-mate is so tough regardless. Maybe it’s heading towards the end for Perez.”

Having claimed he could beat Verstappen to the 2023 title after winning two of the opening four races, Perez has finished on the podium just twice since and currently sits 81 points behind his team-mate in the Drivers’ standings.

Having pointed to a lack of tyre temperature as the reason behind his Silverstone elimination, after parking at the end of the pit lane awaiting a restart at the end of Q1, Chadwick believes Perez is too quick to reach for excuses in light of his recent poor performances.

She said: “It is confusing but, that said, one of the things I’ve noticed in Checo recently is he’s reached for a few excuses.

“It’s very easy to do that as a driver – you’re always going to look for the reason why you’re not quick – but some accountability is important and I’m not sure what goes on behind the scenes, but here saying that he didn’t quite get the tyre prep in and didn’t quite have it how he wanted it to but Alex Albon was just behind him in the queue in the pit lane and still managed to jump ahead.

“So I think try to have some accountability. It’s tough. He’s clearly quick enough. He’s quick on the street tracks, he sometimes struggles in the mixed conditions but we need to see that performance now in every session.”

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