Nico Rosberg, the 2016 Formula 1 World Champion, has offered valuable counsel to Sergio Perez, urging the Red Bull driver to disregard thoughts of challenging his teammate Max Verstappen.
As Perez grapples with a challenging season, marked by inconsistent performances, Rosberg emphasises the importance of mental resilience and tuning out external pressures.
Perez’s season began on a promising note, clinching two victories in the opening four races.
However, a series of lacklustre showings followed, including a dismal streak of failing to reach Q3 in the subsequent five events.
The Mexican’s struggles have been reflected in his four podium finishes over the last eight rounds, allowing Verstappen to amass a commanding 125-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship.
Rosberg’s advice to Perez revolves around avoiding a downward spiral by refraining from engaging with the inevitable scrutiny attached to his performance struggles.
Speaking on the Sky F1 podcast, Rosberg advises Perez to disconnect from media and social media to shield himself from the barrage of critical comments and opinions.
Drawing from his own experience of battling Lewis Hamilton for the title during the V6 turbo-hybrid era, Rosberg highlights the significance of isolating oneself from external influences.
“I switched off my entire social media, email and the news world completely when I was fighting for the championship,” Rosberg stated, reflecting on his championship-winning campaign.
Nevertheless, Rosberg acknowledges that Perez’s situation is further compounded by the return of Daniel Ricciardo to Red Bull’s sister team, AlphaTauri.
Ricciardo’s vocal aspirations to return to the Red Bull cockpit, along with Perez’s performance challenges, create additional pressure on Perez’s seat.
Acknowledging the challenges faced by Perez when dealing with media inquiries, Rosberg notes, “That’s one of the hardest parts of the weekend for Sergio at the moment to deal with.”
The cycle of questions and potential threats to his seat can be mentally taxing.
However, Rosberg encourages Perez to maintain his focus by staying grounded and composed.
Rosberg believes that Perez can alleviate the mounting pressure by adjusting his mindset.
He suggests that Perez should shift his focus away from directly challenging Verstappen and instead concentrate on performing optimally in each session.
The advice entails approaching each race weekend and session with meticulous preparation and risk management.
The former champion offers a pragmatic perspective, advising Perez to concentrate on rebuilding his performance step by step.
“Race weekend by race weekend, session by session, do a fantastic job,” Rosberg imparts.
The emphasis lies in the process, preparation, and consistent effort, allowing Perez to gradually regain his confidence and perform at his best.