Sergio Perez reveals theory behind ‘extraordinary’ recent drop-off in form

Oliver Harden
Sergio Perez in the garage. Melbourne, March 2023.

Sergio Perez in the Red Bull garage.

Sergio Perez believes Red Bull’s development path has contributed to his alarming decline in form in recent races.

Having suffered a run of five consecutive races without a Q3 appearance earlier this year, Perez’s season appeared to be getting back on track with a streak of three podium finishes in four races either side of the summer break.

However, the Mexican’s struggles have become worse than ever in recent weeks with Perez scoring just five points at the last three rounds in Singapore, Japan and Qatar.

Sergio Perez reiterates Red Bull development frustrations

While Red Bull had an off weekend in Singapore, Perez endured a torrid race at Suzuka where he incurred two separate penalties before suffering his first retirement of the season.

Perez also failed to finish the sprint race in Qatar after a collision with Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon, with the 33-year-old once again falling in Q2 on the weekend team-mate Max Verstappen secured his third consecutive World Championship.

With growing scrutiny on his Red Bull seat, Perez has admitted that the last two rounds have been poor, with the nature of Red Bull’s development – and the decisions he and the team have made in an attempt to haul him out of his slump – exacerbating his problems.

He said: “The last two weekends have been extraordinary in the way that we just arrived at the circuit, we were not comfortable and we took directions that made it even worse. It’s as simple as that.

“I think there is some development [behind] it. And there is also some tuning on it that we’ve been doing that [is] just not coming as natural as it was coming before.”

Perez’s frustration about Red Bull’s development path echoes his comments from 2022, when the Mexican also suffered an alarming decline after a strong start to the season.

Despite his poor season, an analysis of the key F1 2023 statistics by revealed that Perez has just 11 points fewer after 17 races than at the same stage last year. recommends

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In August, Perez opened up about his struggles with the way the Red Bull RB19 car has evolved since he won two of the opening four races in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.

He told Sky F1: “For a driver, it’s really difficult to be adapting to the car instead of just things coming naturally.

“The last few races, I’ve been a step or two behind and always thinking consciously how I have to drive the car, sometimes with how the car has been developed doesn’t really suit me as much so I have to work harder for it.

“You’ve won two races in the first four and then all of a sudden you feel: ‘Argh, this weekend [it] doesn’t feel like it did before.’”

Earlier this month, German publication Auto Motor und Sport claimed that Red Bull blocked Perez’s request to get his season back on track by reverting to the pre-Spanish GP version of the car.

The Barcelona round, where the team introduced a new floor, was the second in the five-race sequence in which Perez failed to reach Q3.

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