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via Reuters

Opportunity rarely knocks on your door, but when it does, it’s important to seize it. However, Sergio Perez failed! “I am definitely in the fight for the title,” said Sergio Perez after winning in Baku. Giving a push to his Championship hopes, the Imola GP was canceled, making it five street circuit Grand Prix in a row. After a humiliating defeat in Miami, what better opportunity for ‘the King of streets’ to get ahead of his teammate Max Verstappen and lead the championship standings? 

However, the Mexican crashed in the Monaco Grand Prix qualifying and caused a huge dent, not only in his car but in his championship hopes as well! As he set out on another flying lap in Q1, he pushed too hard and slammed into the barrier at turn 1, forcing himself out of the qualifying. As a result, Perez will be starting the main race from the bottom of the grid at P20. Given how notoriously difficult it is to overtake in the dangerously narrow streets of Monaco, Perez’s victory is an ‘impossible’ task. A classic example of slipping a golden opportunity through your fingers!

via Reuters

Given his reputation of being unbeatable on street circuits, hopes were high on Perez going into the Monaco Grand Prix. However, after seeing him fail miserably, Robert Doornbos said in his analysis at Ziggo Sport, “If you want to be fast in Monaco, you have to brush the wall. He did more than that. That was a brutal last sector. He wanted to take the shortest line to the finish. The king of the streets Perez completely failed. You can’t crash like that with a car like that. He just drove twenty kilometers an hour too fast.” [Translated via Google]

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Blaming Perez for being too aggressive, Doornbos further added, “He is distracted by that Alpine who turns right, then you have to turn into the right, he did that too late. He has the best car but starts last. The cars are now two meters wide, you can’t imagine where to put it next to it. This hurts a lot. He was already hit in Miami. This is so stupid of Pérez.” [Translated via Google]

Read More: Following Helmut Marko’s “Stupid” Jab, Sergio Perez Not in Denial of His Mistake While Expecting a “Nightmare” in Monaco

So now, the results from the final race – the disparity in terms of the points delivered for the two Red Bull drivers after the main race will ultimately shape the Championship fight. 

‘Scoring points has to be Perez’s target’: Christian Horner

Perez has claimed five of his six Grand Prix wins on street circuits, but this time, victory on Monaco streets is a far cry from last year’s Monaco GP winner. In terms of overtaking, given how tight and dangerous the Monte Carlo circuit is, can the street king at least get to points scoring place? That’s a very difficult task, but achievable, says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

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via Imago

Horner admitted he had mixed emotions after Saturday’s qualifying session with Verstappen on the pole but Perez at the back. He said Perez “will be kicking himself” for making an error that could end up having a huge impact on his world championship ambitions. However, In 2018, Verstappen also crashed and started last in Monaco after being ruled out of qualifying and managed to finish ninth. So, Horner believes finishing in the points is what Perez needs to target on Sunday.

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He said,It’s so hard here. Max started from that position a few years ago and just made it into the top 10. Scoring points will be the target for Checo. It’s likely to be a one-stop race, you’re caught in the crocodile and you can’t use your pace.”

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Watch this story: How is Sergio Perez So Good at Street Tracks in F1?

Should Sergio Perez still keep his Championship hopes alive?

Written by

Madhu Nandigala

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Madhu Nandigala is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports with a passion for telling compelling stories. She holds a degree in Journalism and constantly looks for new ways to expand her knowledge and share untold tales from the world of sports. Madhu's fascination with sports began during her childhood.
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Edited by

Varunkumaar Chelladurai