Sergio Perez lambasted for being ‘overconfident’

Sergio Perez failed to set a lap-time during qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix.

Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard has criticised Sergio Perez for becoming “overconfident” after winning the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with the Mexican having endured a nightmare Saturday at the Australian Grand Prix.

After closing the gap to Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship to just one-point, Perez entered the Australian GP with a great chance to actually take the lead of the standings; instead, he fell 15 points behind.

Perez never looked comfortable at the Albert Park Circuit, with the Mexican having gone off the circuit four times during FP3.

An issue was ultimately discovered by the team, which explained why he struggled to keep his RB19 on the circuit; however, there was no excuse for his qualifying blunder.

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Perez beached his car at Turn Three on his opening lap in Q1, with the Mexican having retired from qualifying as a result.

This gave Verstappen a huge opportunity to capitalise on his team-mate’s error, something he unsurprisingly did.

Verstappen put his car on pole and went on to win his second race of the 2023 F1 season, whilst Perez recovered from the pit-lane to finish fifth.

Fifth could become sixth for the 33-year-old, though, should the FIA reinstate Carlos Sainz to fourth.

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Coulthard seemingly believes that Perez is in need of a reality check following his disappointing Australian GP, with him having started the season so positively in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

“Free practice off the track, qualifying, bins it on the first lap,” Coulthard told Channel 4 about Perez’s mistakes.

“I think he was overconfident, coming off the back of his victory in Saudi.

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“It turns out he braked 20 meters later on that first run than even Max Verstappen, that is a rather optimistic lunge into Turn 3 which took him to the barrier.”

Verstappen is one driver you simply can’t give an opportunity to, given that he will almost certainly capitalise on an opponent’s error every time.

Seeing his team-mate make the most of his embarrassing mistake will perhaps give Perez the understanding that he simply cannot make unnecessary mistakes if he wants to become World Champion this season, with perfection being the only answer to beating the mighty Dutchman.