How do Perez’s struggles evaluate to Verstappen’s different F1 team-mates?

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Sergio Perez’s Pink Bull performances are below scrutiny as soon as extra amid his newest Method 1 hunch, however how do his struggles evaluate to Max Verstappen’s earlier team-mates?

From qualifying lower than a tenth off Verstappen on a real drivers’ circuit like Suzuka, Perez’s latest deficits to his team-mate have gotten some extent of concern for Pink Bull as rival groups pose a higher problem.

Perez was introduced into the fold in 2021 to lastly discover a new constant wingman to Verstappen, who would financial institution podiums – and wins on his day – to assist the group conquer the constructors’ world championship in addition to the drivers’ titles.

By transferring for the Mexican F1 veteran of 10 years, Pink Bull selected dependable expertise over the inconsistent promise of kids like Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon, who have been each thrown into the deep finish however struggled to remain afloat at first of their F1 careers.

The selection for Perez initially appeared to repay, however whereas Verstappen has managed to grasp Pink Bull’s equipment, Perez has discovered it more durable to extract the utmost out of its peaky automobiles, typically struggling to discover a snug steadiness in free observe which leaves him on the again foot for the remainder of the weekend.

The 2024 season promised to form up in another way, with Perez doing precisely what Pink Bull needed by claiming three runner-up spots to Verstappen to begin the 12 months, which helped him earn a contract extension till 2026. However since Miami, Perez’s {old} mid-season hunch has returned and he hasn’t discovered the rostrum since.

Perez has had a tricky run of leads to latest races, and was crushed by Hulkenberg to sixth in Austria

Photograph by: Pink Bull Content material Pool

Final weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix was one other low level for Perez, qualifying eighth and ending seventh in between the 2 Haas automobiles. Inevitably, Perez has copped loads of flak for his performances, so how do they stack as much as his predecessors as Verstappen’s team-mate?

Common qualifying hole between Verstappen and his team-mates

Group-mate

Common qualifying hole

Daniel Ricciardo, 2016

0.049 quicker than VER

Daniel Ricciardo, 2017

0.065 slower than VER

Daniel Ricciardo, 2018

0.107 slower than VER

Pierre Gasly, 2019

0.592 slower than VER

Alexander Albon, 2019

0.634 slower than VER

Alexander Albon, 2020

0.621 slower than VER

Sergio Perez, 2021

0.564 slower than VER

Sergio Perez, 2022

0.392 slower than VER

Sergio Perez, 2023

0.548 slower than VER

Sergio Perez, 2024

0.629 slower than VER

Wanting by way of Perez’s three and a half seasons with the Milton Keynes-based squad, the Mexican was closest to Verstappen in 2022, the primary season with the present ground-effect based mostly equipment.

One rationalization is the truth that Pink Bull’s RB18 was considerably obese at first of 2022, making it more durable to maintain it balanced. Verstappen was significantly unimpressed with the induced understeer the RB18 got here with out of the field, which was slowly dialled out. As the load got here off, Perez’s deficit grew.

Perez's best season relative to Verstappen was 2022, but his form also dipped in that season as the weight came off the car and it grew more to his team-mate's liking

Perez’s greatest season relative to Verstappen was 2022, however his type additionally dipped in that season as the load got here off the automobile and it grew extra to his team-mate’s liking

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

On the entire, the averages of each head-to-head qualifying end result present that Perez hasn’t essentially gotten loads worse. He has at all times been a superb chunk off Verstappen’s lap occasions.

However as a result of the sector is now a lot nearer, each he and Pink Bull are beginning to pay a much bigger value on the outcomes sheet. However thus far, 2024 does show to be his most tough season but, with many of the harm executed in latest weeks.

The subsequent query is how Perez stacks as much as Verstappen’s earlier Pink Bull team-mates, particularly Gasly and Albon as they have been ousted for not being as much as the duty. Solely Daniel Ricciardo was ever capable of preserve Verstappen trustworthy and, since Ricciardo’s departure, it has by no means discovered a like-for-like substitute for the Australian.

Group-mate

Common qualifying hole as team-mates

Daniel Ricciardo

0.047 slower than VER

Pierre Gasly

0.592 slower than VER

Alexander Albon

0.625 slower than VER

Sergio Perez

0.520 slower than VER

On one hand Ricciardo discovered a kind of automobile at Pink Bull that suited his driving fashion, and which he has been unsuccessfully chasing elsewhere ever since. However Verstappen was additionally nonetheless at first of his racing profession and, whereas his velocity was at all times there, he had but develop into the constant, unstoppable drive that he’s immediately.

Albon became the latest Red Bull driver to be dropped after 2020, but his average deficit to Verstappen in his first full year with the team was less than Perez so far in 2024

Albon turned the newest Pink Bull driver to be dropped after 2020, however his common deficit to Verstappen in his first full 12 months with the group was lower than Perez thus far in 2024

Photograph by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Gasly and Albon have been round six tenths slower per lap, and whereas Perez was initially a little bit nearer, he’s now additionally straying into the identical territory.

It exhibits that being Verstappen’s team-mate is just not simple, and that the Dutchman has distinctive capabilities to drive across the Pink Bull’s weaknesses, which even yielded constant outcomes on bumpier circuits which are the RB20’s Achilles heel.

Nevertheless it additionally demonstrates that, as McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari at the moment are constantly qualifying forward of Perez, Pink Bull is again to sq. one in its seek for a dependable quantity two.

Perez nonetheless managed to save lots of his seat at first of the 12 months towards the backdrop of Ricciardo’s inconsistent performances at RB, and group principal Christian Horner’s reluctance to think about Yuki Tsunoda.

However its option to play secure with Perez as a substitute of bringing in somebody like Carlos Sainz is beginning to damage already.

Pink Bull nonetheless enjoys a wholesome lead within the constructors’ standings over its rivals, who’re all taking factors off one another. However it’ll quickly develop into pressing for the 34-year-old to dig himself out of his gap.



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