Jolyon Palmer has blasted Sergio Perez despite his amazing Turkish GP result this past Sunday.
Perez drove an exceptional race to finish on the podium in third place. His race saw a faultless drive, a clinical pit stop and more importantly, a brilliant defence of Lewis Hamilton that ultimately kept the Mercedes driver in fifth place.
Although his team couldn’t take the win, Perez was joined on the podium by teammate Max Verstappen in second place. It was a great weekend for the Mexican and for Red Bull.
However, Palmer blasted Perez despite his Turkish GP result, and said that he needs to step up more to be relevant this season.
“While (Valtteri) Bottas was keeping the smiles on the faces of Mercedes though, Perez put in a well-timed gritty drive as well, getting back onto the podium for the first time in eight races”, Palmer says in his column for the F1 official website.
“Too often recently Perez’s poor qualifying performances have rendered him redundant in helping Verstappen’s fight with Hamilton on Sundays.
“Perez’s race pace has been closer to Verstappen’s than his qualifying pace and again on Sunday, he was really solid in tricky conditions.
“But where he excelled most was in damaging Hamilton’s race, something it seemed clear he was intent on doing by the way he fought to keep the Brit behind him, when a couple of times in battle it looked like the place was lost.”
Palmer also stressed that Perez has a role to play till the end of the season, and that it will be crucial with respect to the title race.
“This season so far, the duo out front in the title race have just been too good, and really in another league from their teammates,” Palmer continued.
“Hamilton has only finished behind Perez twice now, while Turkey was, incredibly, the first time all year that Verstappen has finished a race behind Bottas.
“While the number twos have been ineffective at taking points off their rivals thus far, Turkey illustrated the role of the second driver could be crucial.
“With Bottas hitting some consistent form at the moment, and Perez looking to regain his mojo, it could make a deciding difference to the tightest title battle in years,” he concluded.