Sergio Pérez is enduring a difficult spell at Red Bull currently, with the Mexican having arguably struggled for form ever since he won the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver has gone from being a title contender, to suddenly being 109-points behind team-mate Max Verstappen, who is cruising to his second consecutive Drivers’ Championship.
The Mexican qualified fourth for the Italian Grand Prix but found himself nine-tenths of a second behind his team-mate, who qualified second.
Pérez actually started the race from P13, following a grid penalty for a component change.
The number two driver at the Austrian side has been well behind Verstappen all weekend, whether that be in one-lap performance or in race pace.
Ex-F1 driver and Sky Sports F1 pundit Martin Brundle believes Pérez has “lost his way”, with his RB18 also not performing how the Mexican would like it to.
“You could see [the DRS] oscillating on a Red Bull,” Brundle said on Friday to Sky Sports F1 after FP1.
“It can’t be helped with the downforce but you don’t need a whole lot of downforce there. What you don’t need either is a whole load of drag, so if it’s creating drag then it’s slowing it down. Sergio has definitely lost his way a little bit with the Red Bull car at the moment.”
Red Bull, as proven in the past, aren’t the sort of team to give an underperforming driver time to improve, with the likes of Daniil Kvyat, Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon having all found that out the hard way.
The Mexican is contracted with the team until the end of 2023; however, this is unlikely to stop the team from sacking Pérez should his performances continue to disappoint.
Brundle highlighted the importance of Pérez improving quickly but did go on to suggest that if he knew what was going wrong, he’d “sort it out very quickly”.
“I’m sure if he knew, they’d sort it out very quickly,” continued Brundle.
“But it just doesn’t seem to play to his strengths behind the wheel and then you lose a bit of confidence and trust on the braking point.
“And with these latest Formula 1 cars and the speed you take through these corners, if it starts sliding around too much, particularly at the rear end, and you don’t hustle it then you lose a bit of tyre temperature and a bit of brake temperature.
“Then you get to a point where the car slides and you tighten up because, ‘oh no, the car is sliding’ rather than being just ‘whatever, I can handle whatever you throw at me’. It’s a snowball effect of tiny little things and that’s why it’s hard to identify what has gone wrong and how to put it right.”