HomeFormula 1No Bull run: the pressure of expectations hurting Sergio...

No Bull run: the pressure of expectations hurting Sergio Perez!

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Red Bull have emerged triumphant in each of the six Formula 1 Grands Prix held so far with one at Imola lost to the ravaging force of nature. 

There’s nothing one could’ve done about the lost opportunity at Emilia Romagna a bit like the thumping form of Red Bull about which little is being done by the remainder of the teams on the grid. 

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And while a single constructor winning six out of the six races held so far is just incredible, perhaps imposing even, what’s also not bad is Max Verstappen winning four of those events. 

The only man who’s been able to put up a challenge so far to the current defending champion, if not draw level with his powers, is the man who finds himself in a spot of bother. 

Sergio Perez has seen happier days and more interesting race weekends, where his talent and focus allowed him to get the better of the seemingly impenetrable force that’s Max Verstappen.  

But long gone are the events at Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan. 

The only two races where Verstappen emerged second best, Perez emerged as the ultimate, the driver to beat. 

While the two triumphs at proper street courses offered a lot of confidence, yet another street course took much of it away. 

From a fundamental point of view, a mistake at the constricting-if also testing- street track of Monaco during quali was but an error and nothing more. But as one learnt at the completion of the Grand Prix, it turned out to be rather calamitous. 

Just who would’ve thought that a surprise error with the rear end of the Red Bull swinging a touch out of control and ultimately colliding with the barrier at Saint Devote would relegate Perez to the absolute back of the grid on race day?

Furthermore, just who would’ve thought that the untimely error at the very circuit where Perez won last year would fuel headlines that now question whether the experienced Mexican can even think of winning the title? 

But such is Formula 1, where champions are made and chances are lost at the back of a tricky corner and upon the completion of a gripping lap. 

Surely, it beats all logic and questions one’s rationale to suggest that Perez isn’t going to be champion at the back of one undesirable race result. 

Isn’t it too brash or sudden to come up with such a statement?  

But then the reality also happens to be that while he faltered on his own for which no one else can be blamed, it isn’t helping the experienced Mexican’s cause that Verstappen is only growing in confidence. 

Just days ago, Max won at the very venue where Perez excelled last year with much commitment. 

Furthermore, Max Verstappen given his unbent focus and resilience is improving at the very venues where he’d missed out last year, which again doesn’t help Sergio Perez’s championship hopes. 

Take Australia 2022 vis-a-vis 2023 for example. Perez took an impressive second at Albert Park last year, which is when Verstappen had retired owing to a fuel leak problem. This year, Verstappen took the win with Perez and Leclerc not even in the top three. 

But Perez’s troubles don’t just end here. 

Fondly called the king of the streets for his impressive form in particularly challenging street courses, Perez doesn’t have the kind of venues up ahead where he might stand an outright high probability of winning. 

We’ve already had five street races done including Jeddah, Albert Park, Miami, Baku and Monaco. While he won at two of those (Baku and Jeddah), bad performance in one (Monaco) and a podium that wasn’t the top step (Miami) didn’t help his cause. 

Furthermore, the next street race is many months away. What now follows is the very venue where Perez has been found wanting in the past. 

Though it could be argued that last year’s Barcelona-bound Spanish Grand Prix was anything but a poor result for Sergio Perez, who bagged a second place finish, the Red Bull driver has never previously won here. 

As a matter of fact, of his 30 career podiums, just one has transpired at Spain, which is a high speed venue that demands tyre management. 

There again, Max, the 2022 Spanish GP winner  seems to hold the edge unless of course a top of the line effort by Perez on Saturday followed by a speedy win on Sunday can deny the flying Dutchman what he’ll be really after. 

Racing, just as dependant on the winning machinery, is also a game of the mindset. 

And perhaps it’s not one’s figment of imagination nor overstating the truth that, where it stands at present, then the force is with Verstappen and the pressure is being felt by Perez. 

While on the one hand, Max is excelling amid the pressure of expectations, Perez, on the other hand, despite having the exact same machinery is confronting the reality of having to challenge a double world champion, a driver who just doesn’t give up. 

It can’t get more difficult.

Though in reality, the obdurate challenge being faced by the 33-year-old isn’t only about tackling Verstappen; where the points table stands, then it can be seen clearly that Alonso is perhaps one or at the most, two podiums away from overtaking the Red Bull driver with a twelve point gap currently separating the driver in second and third. 

So it’s not just one Red Bull out in front but also a fast Aston Martin that’s breathing on Perez’s tail. 

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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