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“Needs to Focus on the Racing”: Red Bull Taskmaster Turns Up the Pressure for Sergio Perez With an Expected Prediction for His Recent Error

Published 06/04/2023, 7:15 AM EDT

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via Reuters

Are Sergio Perez‘s Championship hopes realistic? Red Bull‘s advisor Helmut Marko says no. After Perez won in Baku, he reduced Championship leader Max Verstappen‘s lead to just 6 points and appeared as a legitimate title contender. However, a series of disasters followed, denting the Mexican’s title hopes beyond recovery. Going into Monaco GP, Perez was just 14 points adrift of Verstappen, and what better chance for ‘the king of streets’ to win his place at the top of the driver’s table? However, Perez crashed, binning his chance, and raising questions about his capabilities to challenge the reigning world champion. And now Perez’s misfortune seemed to have followed him to Spain.

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In the first practice in Spain, Perez was no match to his teammate’s far superior performance in Qualifying. While Verstappen comfortably set a headline time of 1:14.606, Perez was eight-tenths behind him. Although he improved in the following sessions, another error cost him in the Spanish Grand Prix qualifying. Having barely made it through to Q2, Perez was on a flying lap when he went into the gravel at Turn 5 and ruined his tires. With no time left to pit for a fresh set, he ended up in the low 11th. However, basing Perez’s inconsistency in practice sessions, Helmut Marko already predicted it’d become a problem later.

via Imago

Reflecting on Perez’s early qualifying exit in Barcelona, Marko said: “Sergio (Pérez, ed.) has not been doing well since Monte Carlo. I was afraid he would get stuck in the gravel trap, but luckily he was able to drive even further. Unfortunately, he was still unable to qualify for Q3. He needs to focus on the racing, not the title. Hopefully, he can recover. All weekend he was three to five-tenths slower.” [Translated via Google]


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After Spain qualifying, Marko believes it is time for Sergio Perez to “wake up” and forget about winning Formula 1. So, he added, “He (Pérez, ed.) believed in his dream to become world champion. Checo is being shaken awake now, but I’m sure he’ll recover. I think getting the podium is optimistic.”

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Meanwhile, Helmut Marko appreciated and weighed in on the Dutch driver’s quality.

‘Max is in top form’: Helmut Marko 


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As Carlos Sainz said after the Spain qualifying, ‘Max Verstappen is on a planet of his own’. After a dominant victory in Monaco, Verstappen is all ready to pick up from where he left off last weekend. He came into the Spanish Grand Prix weekend with a circuit that had changed, and rivals who brought upgrades, and yet still the Red Bull in Verstappen’s – perhaps only his hands- looked so dominant than the rest. As a result, Verstappen put in a superb lap of 1:12.272s to seal his fourth pole position of the year, while other top runners struggled to make it to Q3.

via Reuters

Looking at Verstappen’s almost unbeatable form in recent weekends, Marko told Sky Sports F1, “Max is in top form. You see how easy it all is for him. There are no corrections, nothing. It will be very difficult to beat him tomorrow.”


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Watch this story: Watch: “Drunk” Max Verstappen Partying with the DJ after his Monaco GP Win

After his 39th F1 victory in Monaco, Max Verstappen now leads the drivers’ standings by 39 points with a total of 144. 

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Written by:

Madhu Nandigala


One take at a time

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