Sergio Perez ‘making a serious mess of it’ but Red Bull don’t need ‘another Max’

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez talks in Red Bull garage.

Sergio Perez in conversation in the Red Bull garage.

Sergio Perez is making a “serious mess” at the moment but Tom Coronel asks who else would Red Bull want in the car alongside Max Verstappen given that “two roosters” would upset the team.

On a weekend in which Verstappen secured his third World title and won his 14th Grand Prix of the campaign, Perez had a nightmare in Qatar.

Qualifying down in 13th place after losing his fastest lap time for exceeding track limits, the Mexican driver was involved in a crash in the Sprint race and scored a solitary point in the Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez is ‘just making a serious mess of it’

Starting the race from the pit lane after Red Bull broke parc ferme conditions to repair his RB19, he could’ve finished several places up on his P10 were it not for three five-second penalties for six track limit infringements.

It was a “severely unsatisfactory” weekend for the 33-year-old according to Dutch racing driver Coronel.

“Severely unsatisfactory. A very seriously unsatisfactory result,” he told Motorsport.com.

“That’s not because I don’t fully understand it, but that’s because everyone looks very logically: one Red Bull is driving at the front and the other Red Bull is making a mess and lounging somewhere in midfield.

“You don’t have to be an expert to say that he is just making a serious mess of it.

“I also see that Red Bull is struggling with that, but if you put a good driver next to Max, you get two cocks. So the Russell-Hamilton effect.

“I also sometimes have the idea that Red Bull is fine with it this way. ‘We have one who wins, what difference does it make? Then we let the other one do the chores’.

“Then you have to use him for that. He is not going to win a race for you, or at least not the championship.”

He added: “You know, with Perez, I still see something happen every now and then I think: ‘Wow, that’s pretty impressive.’ But I often see: ‘Wow, this is nothing at all.’ He goes down rather than up.

“The great thing is that if you are a team-mate of the fastest, you can learn from that. You see the data and what kind of set-up he is driving with. But it doesn’t work for him. It is even counterproductive.

“Max completely destroyed him. With the same stuff, he should actually come second.”

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‘Who do you want to put there?’

Perez’s latest slump, which has allowed Lewis Hamilton to close the gap in the battle for second place in the standings to just 30 points, has Helmut Marko suggesting maybe it is time Perez moved on.

But having a delta between team-mates is not necessarily a bad thing with Coronel pointing out Red Bull do not want the drama of “two roosters” in the same team.

“Who do you want to put there?” he continued. “First of all, you still have a contract with him. I think that if you make a deal with someone, and he does not say that he wants to cut down, then you should also respect it. You have made that choice.

“You don’t want two roosters. He is also important and I am talking about politics and sponsors. Max wins, right? We don’t have to look for another Max, do we? We already have one, don’t we? Then I think it’s good enough.

“Because who else should you put there? You shouldn’t put a Lawson there now, because his legs will also be sawed off. Verstappen is simply too strong.

“You shouldn’t compare yourself with a Verstappen, but say in your head, ‘I’m second fiddle. It’s okay. I get paid. I get podiums. I travel all over the world. I race in a series I’ve wanted all my life. I’m with a top team. So what’s the problem?’

“If you have that mindset, then there’s nothing wrong. Barrichello has had a good career, Johnny Herbert has had a good career… I’m talking about second-fiddle drivers. Just accept the status as second fiddle, then is it finished.”

And, he added, Perez has to stop shouting about winning World titles as he’s only making himself look a “clown”.

“He shouldn’t start shouting that he can also become World Champion. Then you turn yourself into a clown because that’s what you do. That’s not possible. It’s not true. No way. You’ve proven that it isn’t so,” he added.

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