Sergio Perez finds himself grappling with the performance of his Red Bull car, particularly in terms of braking.
Contrary to team boss Christian Horner’s assertion that his recent drop in form was a result of the pressure to compete with Max Verstappen for the drivers’ title, Perez denied this claim.
“I don’t think so,” Perez insisted.
As far as former Renault boss Flavio Briatore is concerned, Perez’s problem is more fundamental than that – he’s simply not as good as his Dutch teammate.
“We saw the usual absolute supremacy of a driver, Max Verstappen, in Canada,” he told the Italian business newspaper Il Riformista.
“His teammate Checo Perez, on the other hand, was far behind. It was another demonstration that not only the car must be good but the driver must also be up to the task,” Italian Briatore added.
But according to Perez, his performance dip simply has a technical explanation.
“I have problems with the braking,” he is quoted by the Spanish newspaper Diario Sport. “I need to work with the team to find out what is happening.
“Mentally I feel strong,” the 33-year-old insisted. “I’m not in a tunnel of negativity or anything.
“I’m strong. I’ll come back,” Perez added.
“In the most recent races I have lacked pace, it’s true,” he admitted, “but not in Monaco where I was fast all weekend. I just made a mistake.
“I think mentally you have to be strong, and I am. I know that I will get through this difficult period.”
Sergio Perez’s recent struggles have put his championship fight against teammate Max Verstappen at risk. To regain momentum, Perez must raise his game in the upcoming races, particularly the Austrian Grand Prix.
It is a crucial opportunity for him to reignite his competitive spirit and reestablish his position in the championship race.