Mark Webber claim bites Sergio Perez as Daniel Ricciardo lines up

Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber defended Sergio Perez amid mounting questions over the Mexican’s place at the title-leading team.

Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber expressed his confidence in Sergio Perez’s ability to make up positions in the British Grand Prix, even starting from 15th on the grid. 

Webber humorously referred to himself as an “old fart” and stated that even he could achieve such a feat in today’s RB19 car.

Perez endured another disappointing qualifying session at Silverstone, failing to progress beyond Q1 and settling for 16th place on the grid. 

However, due to Valtteri Bottas’ disqualification for a fuel infringement, Perez started 15th in the race. 

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Despite extenuating circumstances, such as delays caused by a red flag stoppage and changing track conditions, Perez’s struggles in qualifying have persisted for the fifth consecutive race weekend.

Acknowledging Perez’s weakness in qualifying, Webber supported the Mexican driver’s potential for improvement. 

He noted the difficulties Perez faces in understanding and achieving clean laps during changing conditions. 

Webber emphasised the need for Perez to address these challenges, stating, “He has to sort qualifying out, he has to sort the mixed conditions out, and I think he’s going to be alright, but at this level, you have to deliver in all conditions.”

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David Coulthard, another former driver turned pundit, suggested that Perez might be overthinking his qualifying troubles, comparing it to the psychological phenomenon known as the “yips” in golf. 

Coulthard drew a parallel to his own experience, where the fear of making mistakes in subsequent qualifying sessions affected his mindset. 

In contrast, he highlighted Max Verstappen’s ability to focus solely on driving fast without dwelling on qualifying.

However, Christijan Albers offered little sympathy for Perez’s struggles, dismissing the notion of luck playing a role. 

Albers asserted that Perez has the same opportunities as other drivers but fails to capitalize on them. 

He pointed out that Red Bull’s decision to place Perez in front during qualifying caused his tires to cool down, making it challenging to maintain optimal performance. 

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Albers observed that other drivers managed to generate tire temperature while Perez struggled in this aspect.

Despite Perez’s difficulties, there is some relief as Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko stated that there are currently no plans to replace the Mexican driver. 

This provides a measure of reassurance for Perez amidst his ongoing qualifying woes.

Perez ultimately finished the 2023 British GP in P6, while Max Verstappen cruised to victory.