Nico Rosberg delivers crushing message to ‘so bad’ Sergio Perez

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez talks in Red Bull garage.

Sergio Perez in conversation in the Red Bull garage.

Arguably the only driver capable of taking the fight to Max Verstappen, such is Red Bull’s dominance, Nico Rosberg says Sergio Perez has “let F1 fans down”.

With his team-mate Verstappen clinching back-to-back titles in 2021 and ’22, Perez went into this season adamant it was his turn.

But instead of fighting for the title, the Mexican driver is battling to hold onto his Red Bull seat amidst continued rumours the team is considering other options.

Sergio Perez hasn’t won a race since round four in Baku

For Perez, 2023 will be a tale of what could’ve been as he started brightly, claiming two wins and two runner-up results in the first five races.

But as Verstappen went on a 10-race winning rampage, Perez struggles mounted as he lost confidence in the car and in himself.

His recovery has been anything but linear as he’s hit another slump that’s meant he hasn’t featured on the podium in the last three races.

Although Rosberg feels for the 33-year-old, he says Perez “let F1 fans down” as he made it “too easy” for Verstappen.

“I feel for him because it is such a horrible situation to be in,” he told Sky Sports podcast.

“The pressure of the world on his shoulders and social media is critising him so much because all F1 fans are relying on him to keep things exciting and in a way he has let F1 fans down because he’s made it too easy for Verstappen.

“I was in that situation with [Lewis] Hamilton, knowing I was really carrying the expectations of everybody on my shoulders to keep it exciting and to not let it become boring with Lewis Hamilton being too dominant.

“It’s a really, really tough situation for him. So I can really relate and he’s having such a difficult time. Qatar was a horrible weekend, like so bad, with the best car.

“He really needs to find the way there and very quickly because how he’s driving now Red Bull really need to consider even for next year.”

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Perez cannot rely on Verstappen in P2 quest

With it now being said that Perez’s Red Bull future hinges on him securing second place in the championship, pressure continues to climb as he’s only 30 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton with five races remaining.

Hamilton, though, has taken 25 points off Perez’s lead in the last three races alone.

It begs the question will Verstappen help his team-mate not only bag the 1-2 in the standings for Red Bull but effectively save his career?

“I don’t see Max helping Sergio at all. Like what’s the point?” Rosberg replied.

“Max, I think is just ultra determined to win every single race left of the season. I think that’s what it’s about, and that’s it.

“We saw it in Qatar, even he wasn’t thinking about the championship points on Saturday, he was wanting to go out there and win the race. So I think it’s gonna be the same for the rest of the year.”

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