Sergio Perez ‘now in state of trepidation’ after flurry of poor F1 performances

Sam Cooper
Sergio Perez walking to a wet Canada paddock. Montreal, Canada. June 2023

Sergio Perez walking to a wet Canada paddock. Montreal, Canada. June 2023

Damon Hill believes Sergio Perez is in “a state of trepidation” after a run of poor performances all but ended his title bid.

After four races in 2023, it looked as Perez was going to be one of two challengers for this year’s Drivers’ Championship but his form in recent grands prix has all but ended that bid.

A run of three consecutive finishes off the podium for Perez has allowed his team-mate Max Verstappen to build a 69-point lead ahead of Red Bull’s home race in Austria.

Perez meanwhile must keep one eye over his shoulder with Fernando Alonso continuing to finish in the top three and now just nine points behind.

Hill believes Perez may be in a negative head space after his recent run of results.

“Max said something interesting, I was quite surprised by, which is that he said that Checo kept doing his own thing,” Hill said on the F1 Nation podcast. “So he’s actually working on his own setup and his own car and not really looking at what Max is doing and copying him.

“Because it is sometimes taken as a sign of weakness if you have to copy what the other person is doing but sometimes it may be worth just trying what they’ve got on their car but then you have to relearn their setup and you have to relearn how the car behaves.

“So, I think Checo is lost. He had a bit of bad luck, Monaco was a rush of blood to the head or something and that’s dented his confidence I think a lot. So he’s now in a state of trepidation. He is tentative and the moment you get in that position, then you’re vulnerable.”

Perez has previously stated he believes he can challenge for the title but in his three years with Red Bull, his championship bid has been over by at least the summer break.

Hill believes that failure is playing on his mind and that he is “suffering from having a dream shattered.”

“You would expect someone to do better with that car,” Hill continued. “If you just took the Red Bull results from the last four or five races based on Checo’s performance, you wouldn’t say Adrian [Newey] was a great car designer and Red Bull were a great team.

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“They know that and they would be taking steps to do something more to the car rather than the driver.

“I think he also may be suffering from having a dream shattered which was the idea, however unlikely and outlandish it was, that he could be World Champion against Max Verstappen.

“I think that is very demoralising when you’ve got to accept that the good run of form is not going to last and he’s managed to lose ground so rapidly now on Max that the chances are that he’s unlikely to catch Max. Something really miraculous would have to happen.

“But then once you come to that acceptance of that, do the best you can with what you’ve got left and see where it ends up. He can redeem himself.”