Sergio Perez pressure has increased two-fold with ‘the Daniel Ricciardo situation’

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen drivers by Sergio Perez's crashed RB19. Hungary July 2023

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen drivers by Sergio Perez's crashed RB19. Hungary July 2023

Suffering a new low when he crashed four minutes into FP1 for the Hungarian Grand Prix, Danica Patrick believes Sergio Perez is cracking under the pressure that’s now coming from two sources, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Having been in the thick of the championship fight early this season, Perez winning two of the opening four races to sit six points behind Verstappen in the standings, the Mexican driver’s challenge has since been obliterated – and with it his confidence.

Failing to make it into Q3 five weekends in a row, and only once being able to recover to the podium despite driving the fastest car on the grid, Perez has drifted 99 points away from his team-mate in the title race.

Sergio Perez feeling the pressure of being Max Verstappen’s team-mate

Patrick reckons the pressure of having to take on the double World Champion, now a 43-time grand prix winner, as his team-mate wasn’t helping Perez.

“I’m sure he has been feeling the pressure all year, the pressure situation of being Max’s team-mate, but also his performance struggling throughout the year and Max being so much faster and winning so many races,” she told Sky Sports F1 ahead of Friday’s running.

“I’m sure he’s been feeling the pressure, but things do have levels of getting more real, and so when the conversation is about someone taking your seat having been in that developmental fold, it’s going to add just another layer of it.

“Just like Daniel, Sergio puts on a pretty good face too. At the end of the day, when you jump in the car there’s only mode and that is ‘go’. So you can rely on that as a driver that you go into those automatic driving modes.” recommends

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Sergio Perez under added pressure as Daniel Ricciardo returns to racing

Having crashed on Friday with his team boss Christian Horner’s face saying it all, the pressure on Perez’s shoulders is now two-fold with the returning Daniel Ricciardo openly admitting he’s coming for Perez’s race-seat.

Ricciardo, back with AlphaTauri at the Hungarian Grand Prix where he has replaced Nyck de Vries, wants a “fairytale” ending to his Formula 1 career with a Red Bull seat.

But while Horner says Ricciardo is chasing Perez’s ride for 2025, if the Mexican driver doesn’t improve it could come earlier says Patrick.

“I’m sure he’s been feeling a lot of pressure from different directions, but it’s obviously been heightened by the Daniel Ricciardo situation and the potential of him going to the team in the future,” she said. “Sergio just does make mistakes here and there, it’s a little bit more in his nature.

“I really think this [incident] was a scenario where he wasn’t up to speed, and when you’re not up to speed you’re just not in that hyper focused spot you need to be in to not make those mistakes. They happen more easily when you’re not trying as hard. It was a misjudgement.”

Perez goes into the Hungarian Grand Prix P2 in the Drivers’ standings, but now 99 points behind team-mate Verstappen.

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