No is the short answer to the headlines. Sergio Perez’s recent performance at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix weekend was suboptimal. He began qualifying by crashing out of contention in Q1. On race day he compounded his self-inflicted misfortune with a series of unforced errors. Perez has the best car in the field by a huge margin, however, he is also teammate to the best F1 driver of the current generation. When you go against Max Verstappen in the same team it is a requirement to raise your level and bring your A-game to every race weekend.
Perez faces a straightforward yet challenging predicament. Max Verstappen consistently brings his A++ Cum Laude game to every race, creating immediate pressure. If Perez was paired with a different driver – one other than Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, and possibly George Russell – he might have been able to get away with the Monaco mess up and live for another race. However, with his current teammate, there is little room for error.
Starting from the back of the grid Perez faced a tough race, the streets of Monaco are tight and overtaking is difficult, comparable to attempting to spot a black hole using a pair of binoculars. Perez’s race weekend took a turn for the worse as he found himself involved in several minor incidents during the Monaco Grand Prix. These excursions had consequences, ultimately impacting his performance and results in a significant way.
Perez’s response and recovery from the Monaco setback will serve as a pivotal moment that will unfurl his true character and stature. In sport, be it Formula 1 or any other, mere talent, skill, and speed are insufficient. Possessing the best car alone cannot guarantee success. To truly compete and emerge victorious, Perez must delve deep within himself and conquer the mental challenges that arise from self-doubt and the constant battle of self-inflicted mind games.
Nonetheless, one person who doesn’t have the need to battle with mind games and dig deep is straight-talking, shooting-rootin-tootin Mad Dog Marko. I still don’t understand what he does at Red Bull Racing, I think he must be the CDO, Chief Dissatifaction Officer. The Mad Dog wasted no time in roasting Perez alive after his disastrous performance in Monaco.
During a post-race media interview, the Mad Dog blasted Perez:
““I hope that today’s mistakes are enough for the rest of the season. In general, his speed when he drove free was good. But his crash in qualifying ruined the weekend. It didn’t matter then. Everything went wrong there. His crash was not irresponsible, but unreasonable.”