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After Max Verstappen’s Alarming Observation, Sergio Perez Exposes a Major Chink in Red Bull’s Impenetrable Armor

Published 06/19/2023, 1:00 PM EDT

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via Reuters

The last time Sergio Perez had a good weekend by Red Bull standards was the last time Max Verstappen wasn’t leading a race. That happened during the Miami GP weekend, where Perez was on the pole, and Verstappen was on a charge through the field. And when Verstappen eventually overtook him for the lead, he invariably took Perez’s fight with him too. Because since then, Perez hasn’t had one smooth weekend, and his chances of winning the championship have become non-existent.

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With its long straights and slow-speed corners, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal should’ve been right up Red Bull’s alley. But that wasn’t the case. Even though it secured the win, courtesy of Max Verstappen, the race revealed some pretty damning evidence that the dominant Red Bull has weaknesses too.

Tire struggles for Sergio Perez & Co.


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There’s finally some evidence pointing to Red Bull not being as dominant as it seems. And Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen experienced it alike at the Canadian GP. Verstappen, on pole, started the race on medium tires, and Perez, in 12th, started on hard tires, looking to extend his stint on them for as long as possible to gain positions while others pitted. But on Lap 13, Russell’s crash brought out the Safety Car, and Verstappen pitted for hard tires.

via Reuters

When the race resumed, he quickly realized that the cool conditions of the track, as well as the low degradation rate of the RB19, were preventing the tires from getting up to temperature. Because of this, he couldn’t pull away from the pack like he usually does, and Perez couldn’t compete with the Ferraris ahead.


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After the race, he explained, as quoted by, “It was a bit of a surprise, we just didn’t have the pace. It initially looked good on the hard tire, but when the safety car came, I couldn’t regain grip on the tire.” The lack of grip is precisely what Verstappen reported too. He added, “It’s important that we take the time to understand the weekend because, especially in this race, the pace was bad, and we have to get that under control.”

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The next race is the Austrian GP, Red Bull’s home race. In 2022, Red Bull suffered from tire degradation problems there too. If its performance in Canada is anything to go by, the Milton Keynes team has a lot of work to do. And Perez needs to find his groove again because if his bad run of form continues, his contract will run on borrowed time.

But despite all its problems, Red Bull reached a mega milestone in Montreal.

Red Bull secures 100 wins as a constructor

Red Bull might not have had its most dominant weekend in Montreal, but it did have a historic one. With a win in Montreal, achieved by Verstappen, Red Bull reached the centenary mark of race wins. To honor the occasion, Adrian Newey—who usually likes watching his efforts reap the rewards from the sidelines—accompanied Max on the podium.


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Max, too, reached a career landmark of his own. With the win in Canada, he’s now at 41 race wins, equaling Ayrton Senna’s record. And with the dominance he’s shown so far this season, he’ll only build on that number.


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Watch This Story: How a Euphoric Sergio Perez Hilariously Leaked His Red Bull Contract Announcement at Monaco

Red Bull’s performance in Montreal may have been just a blip in its performance, but it could also be something that comes back to haunt it. In the two-week break before F1 goes racing at Red Bull Ring, the Milton Keynes team will work toward making it 101 wins in Spielberg, with hopefully both its drivers at the front of the field. Do you think Sergio Perez will bounce back?

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Written by:

Aditi Krishnan


One take at a time

Aditi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports and is essentially a sportsperson. She fell in love with F1 in 2020. It happened when her brother tuned into that first race weekend in Austria, and she knew right then and there that she had to learn everything she could about the sport.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai