Sergio Perez makes no secret that he should attain more consistent results in his RB19, as he looks to address the qualifying issues that have dominated F1 News and headlines in recent events.
The Mexican driver began the season in a relatively strong fashion, securing two race victories and keeping within touching distance of his teammate.
Although Max Verstappen’s foothold in the Championship always seemed likely, Perez ensured that he capitalised on any of the World Champion’s issues or misfortunes.
However, the situation has evolved in rapid fashion – most notably, with a significant drop in qualifying performances.
Perez has failed to reach Q3 in his last five appearances, which, given the dominance of his RB19, is a very concerning statistic.
Although the supremacy of Adrian Newey’s machine often allows the 33-year-old to recover in the race, significant points are still being left on the table. The standings reflect this, with Verstappen almost 100 points clear in first place.
With Aston Martin, Mercedes, Ferrari and now McLaren within striking distance of Red Bull, any poor performances will be increasingly costly moving forward.
It is no surprise that Red Bull made the decision to give Daniel Ricciardo an opportunity at AlphaTauri.
Although the Australian is by no means guaranteed a promotion, his return is a clear move by Red Bull to assess potential alternatives to Perez.
Speaking ahead of the Hungarian GP, the 6-time race winner admits that better results are necessary:
“I know that I’ve fallen short in qualifying at times this season. So my focus must be to have a successful Saturday.
“I know I’ve got a car with incredible pace, which should be enough to finish on the podium every weekend.”
Considering that Fernando Alonso has secured more podiums (6) than Checo (5) this season, it goes without saying that Perez has suffered a shortage of top-three results.
His assessment is largely accurate. Podiums should be a near guarantee in the Red Bull RB19.
However, as the landscape of Formula 1 shows signs of increased competitiveness, Perez must quickly adapt.
Unlike the Bahrain GP, for example, Red Bull finds itself with a growing number of adversaries who could plausibly establish themselves as challengers in 2024.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang