“Tuned to Verstappen”: Brundle warns Perez against crumbling following challenging start

Martin Brundle has warned Sergio Perez that he could crumble if he doesn’t forget his shaky start to the season.

Perez is yet to show that cutting-edge at Red Bull after four races. He hasn’t been a massive upgrade over Alex Albon, and has yet to finish on the podium. The Mexican’s inconsistency is the main issue, and it is evident especially in qualifying. He has admitted that he hasn’t yet adjusted to his new car.

Checo has done well, with a P4 and two P5s to his name. Yet, he hasn’t run his teammate Max Verstappen and the two Mercedes drivers close.

One of the main reasons Red Bull signed Perez from Racing Point was his vast experience. He has raced in the series every year since 2011. Subsequently, Brundle is of the opinion that Perez must call upon all that experience to power past the rut.

File:Martin Brundle 2011 portrait.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Former F1 driver Martin Brundle warns Sergio Perez against “crumbling”. Source: commons.wikimedia.org

In his post-Spanish Grand Prix column for Sky F1, Brundle said, “It does appear the Red Bull is highly tuned to Verstappen’s preferences, driving style and formidable car control because Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon and now Perez have all relatively floundered.”

“Sergio’s head may be wiser and more experienced, but he’ll need to lean on every single element of that now to play his essential role and not crumble,” he added.

Title bid compromised?

Brundle also believes that the Perez situation is hampering Red Bull’s chances to match Mercedes’ results. According to him, Valtteri Bottas is proving to be a better second driver that Perez himself.

“On 94 points and with three victories so far in 2021, this is Lewis Hamilton’s best ever start to a championship season, which is ominous for his rivals,” Brundle said.

“He’s in scintillating form and Red Bull urgently need more power and grip for Max, and for Perez to join the battle. Right now, it appears Bottas is more likely to take points from Verstappen on occasions than Perez is from Hamilton, and that could be critical.”

Perez started from eight place due to a shoulder injury, but battled all the way up to P5. However, he crossed the line over a minute longer than race winner Lewis Hamilton.

Here’s hoping he finds his mojo and gives Red Bull that extra spark.

Read more: “It hurts as a driver”: Perez reckons it’s too early to deem him second fiddle in championship battle

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