Perez says “rough patch” began when he “lost trust” in car after Monaco crash

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez has admitted he is going through a “rough patch” on track after he lost “trust” in his car after his Monaco qualifying shunt.

The Red Bull driver continues to hold second place in the drivers’ championship, but is 99 points behind his team mate Max Verstappen. Perez has failed to reach Q3 in grand prix qualifying for the last five consecutive race weekends, a run which started when he crashed out of Q1 during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

However speaking to media ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, Perez said his poor run of qualifying results are “not a concern” for him.

“I think when you look at those bad qualifyings, there’s always been different situations that we haven’t dealt with as good as we should have dealt with them,” Perez said in response to a question from RaceFans. “But there has always been some external factors. It hasn’t been pure pace, let’s put it that way.

“Certainly when you are not fully confident with the car… I think what happened in Monaco probably brought me a step back and it has taken me some time to fully trust the car the way I was doing it. And then you add the external factor with the changeable conditions and then there’s a bit more of a discrepancy.”

This week Red Bull has replaced AlphaTauri driver Nyck de Vries with Daniel Ricciardo, who once occupied the same seat Perez now occupies. Perez says convincing Red Bull to retain him in their car long-term is “in my hands”.

“I’m a winner, I don’t like having bad weekends, it’s not what I what I’m here for,” he said. “I would rather be at home doing something else.

“I’m here because I know that I can do it, I’ve done it before. People just on the sofa forget that how much in the little details we are. You’ve seen it with other drivers, other teams – they’ve had difficult periods but they don’t have 20 replacements after each session, like they do with a Red Bull driver.”

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Perez says he is “confident” that he will enjoy a better weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He has been working on the problems he has experienced had since the last race at Silverstone, where he admitted he has found the car particularly challenging in mixed conditions.

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri, Hungaroring, 2023
Gallery: First pictures from the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix weekend
“I have done my work, I’ve done my preparation and I’m ready to deliver a strong weekend – that’s all I can do,” he said.

“We’ve been doing some good work with the engineers over the week and we have some ideas for here and hopefully we’re able to just in general have a better platform where we can be more comfortable and if there is a change of conditions, then we don’t have such a difference.”

With team mate Verstappen running away with the world championship for a second successive year, Perez aims to return to his early-season form that saw him win two of the opening four rounds of the championship in Saudi Arabia and Baku.

“Nothing’s instant in F1, as we know,” he said. “But at the same time, we just have to look back at my season – if I’m second in the world championship, it’s for a reason.

“I’ve had a rough patch, it’s true, but I have also had a great start to the season. So you’re just balancing out looking at those good races – what worked – looking at those bad races – what didn’t – and just make sure that we make progress weekend after weekend.”

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2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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15 comments on “Perez says “rough patch” began when he “lost trust” in car after Monaco crash”

  1. Meanwhile his car is all like: “Can’t the other guy drive me? I’d like to be fast for once, too!”

    1. It’s several races that I’m being driven like a midfield car!

  2. Sometimes a driver has to become delusional to deal with a rough patch. Losing trust in the best car on the grid didn’t make him cross the white lines with all four tyres 3 times in Austria qualifying – his driving did.

  3. Barricheco is becoming more pathetic every day. So his explanation for his recent abysmal driving is that he lost confidence in the car because he made a mistake in Monaco? LMAO.. I mean I would even understand it if it was a strange crash where a driver would be puzzled why he hit the wall, but it was one of the most obvious driver errors of the season. Besides that he is driving a rocketship so even if he loses confidence for whatever reason, he should easily get into Q3 driving at 95%. Hearing stuff like that, if I was Horner I would have put Ricciardo straight into Red Bull.

    1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      20th July 2023, 22:50

      Lol, I’m honestly no Perez or Red Bull fan but 2023 F1 fans are hilarious. Did Ferrari fire Barrichello because Schumacher destroyed him? No they didn’t. They had a number 1 and a number 2 driver and won both championships. Red Bull is no different at the moment.

      1. Barrichello never perfomed this badly in the fastest car. The gap between Verstappen and Slowrez after 10 races is the 2nd biggest gap between team mates in F1 history, only behind Alonso and Massa in 2012. Not to mention that Barrichello was the n2 driver by contract, so he was never ment to beat or challenge Michael, meanwhile Slowrez has equal status with Max, the only thing stopping him is his massive skill issue.

    2. While perez’s answer looks worse than his recent driving, you can’t just gamble on ricciardo, you need to make sure you have a driver who will do no worse, the mclaren period shows ricciardo can be a bad choice.

      1. When a driver keeps getting knocked out in Q1 or Q2 with the fastest car and sometimes can’t even get on the podium in the races, then you can’t really lose anything by replacing him with anybody. Especilly because this year’s Red Bull is soo good that Verstappen would win the constructors championship alone, so they could have Helmut Marko in the 2nd car and they would still wrap up both titles and it wouldn’t even be close.

    3. Pérez is no Barrichello. Not even close. Yet this somehow implies the comparison is bad for Pérez? Barrichello had a bunch of great wins, and was reliably able to slot in behind Schumacher. Red Bull would very much prefer that over someone who can’t reach Q3 in the fastest car by far.

  4. Robert Henning
    20th July 2023, 22:39

    Just say you have a skill issue and don’t blame the car that is looking to be the most successful race car ever built.

  5. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    20th July 2023, 22:47

    2nd in points thus far isn’t too bad. Anyone asking for Perez to be sacked are delusional. What more other than qualifying results does Horner want? He’s 2nd in points!

    1. He is only 2nd in the standings because the Red Bull is a rocketship. He is 99 points behind Verstappen which is the 2nd biggest gap between team mates after 10 races in F1 history, only behind Alonso and Massa in 2012. And it’s actually a really a good thing that the biggest humiliation happened in 2012 because back then the field was really close and competitive. So you can see what would happen if Red Bull actually had some rivals this season.
      2012 Germany (10th race of the season):
      1. Alonso 154pts
      13. Massa 23pts
      They had 12 drivers between them in the standings because it wasn’t a boredom like this season where a single team would win all the races unless reliability or crashes stop them.

    2. I think the rather toxic approach RedBull / Marko tend to have with less than perfect results from their drivers (ditch on more pressure, start to criticize and belittle them in the media, etc.) does a lot to keep those kind of insecurities alive and hinder getting through.

  6. Why soo critical of Perez he has a point i remember the crash. Having a car that does not do what u expect in F1 is terrible. Having no trust in the capabilities of the car is detrimental. He is right in order to drive optionally he has to have full faith that machinery under him is capable of the performance he requires. His complaint is justified in that he is actually blaming redbul for not fixing a problem that he has had in the car. He could not slow down and had no turn in.

  7. The rough patch continues in Hungary, he really doesnt want to still be in the car after the summer break

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