Charles Leclerc says Sergio Perez should do better

Charles Leclerc has questioned the difference in performance between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has shared his astonishment at the substantial performance gap between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez this season, while also praising Verstappen’s exceptional driving skills. 

Despite Leclerc’s admiration for the Dutch driver, he expressed bewilderment at the noticeable discrepancy between the two teammates.

Perez has faced a barrage of criticism throughout the current season as his performance notably declined following his victory in the fourth race of the campaign on the streets of Azerbaijan. 

The Mexican driver has been unable to outpace his teammate on any occasion since then, sparking speculations regarding potential replacements such as Daniel Ricciardo or Lando Norris, as Perez’s current Red Bull contract extends until the end of 2024.

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In an interview with Italy, Leclerc offered his perspective on the gap between Verstappen and Perez, stating, “I think Max is a great driver, but at the same time, there are many who cannot explain such a wide margin between him and Checo.” 

Leclerc emphasised that while he acknowledges Verstappen’s incredible driving prowess, he finds it puzzling that the performance gap is so significant. 

He acknowledged the complexity of understanding the situation from the outside, and speculated that only those within the team have a complete understanding.

Leclerc’s skepticism about the magnitude of the performance gap is understandable, given Perez’s struggles this season. 

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The Mexican driver has failed to secure a spot in Q3 on six occasions, raising concerns about his confidence behind the wheel despite the Red Bull RB19 being considered one of the most dominant cars in Formula 1 history.

While external speculations might suggest that the team is favouring Verstappen in car development and setup, Perez himself has denied such claims. 

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After the Hungarian Grand Prix, Perez addressed the speculation in an interview with Mundo Deportivo, stating, “The cars are the same.” 

“The team’s interest is to have both cars up there every race. It’s crazy what people are saying outside. There is a lot of speculation.”

Responding to queries about potential internal conflicts within the Red Bull garage, Perez firmly dismissed the notion of sabotage, stating, “No, no, that’s impossible. The team is totally focused on giving me the opportunity to perform at my best.”