Sky Sports F1 pundit, Karun Chandhok, shares a striking perspective, suggesting that Sergio Perez has been profoundly affected by his Red Bull teammate, Max Verstappen.
The Mexican driver finds himself trailing by a significant amount of points behind his Dutch teammate, following Verstappen’s impressive comeback victory from sixth on the grid at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Verstappen swiftly closed in on and overtook the early race leader, Perez, by Lap 17, once again demonstrating his dominance this season.
With a commanding 22-second lead over the Mexican, Verstappen effortlessly clinched his eighth consecutive victory.
Drawing on his experience as a former F1 driver, Chandhok believes that Perez is yet to fully recover from his defeat by Verstappen at the Miami Grand Prix, despite starting from pole position and securing an eight-place advantage over his teammate.
Chandhok on the Sky Sports podcast explained: “I will say the only other thing they appear to have broken is their second driver in some ways.”
“At the start of the year, I go back to the drive he put in, in Jeddah, but more importantly in Baku.
“Crofty [Sky Sports commentator, David Croft] and I were in the commentary box there saying he would have overtaken Max, let alone the strategy, he would have overtaken Max on track and won that race.
“And it was a proper convincing performance, admittedly at one of his strongest circuits on the calendar. But ever since he got overtaken on whatever it was, lap 41  in Miami – it’s just gone away from him.
“And you know, I look at what happened even at the weekend at Spa. Max got ahead of him and he put 22 seconds on him in 27 laps.
“That’s a big chunk of performance to put around a track where they are spending a lot of time at full throttle driving around in a straight line, essentially.”
Chandhok expressed concern about Red Bull’s team dynamics, questioning whether Max Verstappen’s dominance has negatively impacted his teammates.
He wonders if Red Bull will seek another challenger to Verstappen or settle for someone slightly off the pace, given Verstappen’s ability to excel at a high level with their competitive car.
“To me, that is the cause of concern, the only cause of concern, in the Red Bull camp.
“Is this the fourth teammate that Max has potentially broken? Who can they have alongside him?
“Or do they just say, ‘you know what, we don’t really need anyone to be challenging him, we’re happy for somebody to be half a second off the pace because our car is good enough for Max to be able to deliver at that level’”.