One key theme we see so often in Formula 1 in the modern era is histrionics, and to a large degree, we have Netflix to thank for that.
This is not to say that a run of poor form had never put drivers under pressure before, but reports that Sergio Perez was in danger of losing his seat after such a run were quite unlikely.
The Mexican has not necessarily been on Max Verstappen’s pace since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and changes to the RB18 have not worked in his favour, but he reminded everyone of his supreme talent in Singapore last weekend.
He out-qualified Max Verstappen for the fourth time this season – discounting the Dutchman’s penalty in Spa – for the fourth time in 2022 on Saturday, before making an excellent start.
Not necessarily known for his prowess in wet conditions, Perez controlled the race beautifully after taking the lead from Charles Leclerc, and he negotiated two Safety Car restarts under immense pressure.
One of those restarts, admittedly, was a little sketchy, and it earned him a five-second penalty which, after a dominant final stint, did not affect his finishing position.
A wonderful performance earned the 32-year-old his fourth win in F1, as well as his second of this season.
Perez remains over half a second adrift, on average, of the pace of Verstappen in qualifying, and this has mainly been down to a lack of consistency.
If he can start finding performances like that of last weekend on a regular basis, he can be a championship contender next year.
We started to see glimpses of a driver who could compete for the title at the start of this season, and we have been desperate to see more of the driver who, when Verstappen is unable to win, can pick up the pieces.
But he will want more than that – all of the drivers do – so Perez needs to fill up a bottle with whatever he had in his locker last weekend, and unleash it heading into the 2023 season.
Disclaimer: This is an opinion article and the views contained within it are strictly of the author.