Sergio Perez makes ‘complicated’ admission about lagging behind Max Verstappen

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has admitted that he was driving with "no confidence" during the summer races.

Sergio Perez believes his season took a turn for the worse after the Miami Grand Prix, where he claimed his fourth podium from the opening five races.

Perez left Miami right in the championship fight against Max Verstappen, following two wins and two podiums in the first five races.

He entered the Monaco Grand Prix as Verstappen’s only title rival; however, being a championship contender seemingly got the better of Perez.

The Monaco GP is where things started going wrong for the 33-year-old very quickly, as he crashed out of qualifying in Q1.

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His Q1 elimination in Monaco was the first of four consecutive races where he failed to proceed to Q3, something which saw him lose significant ground to the reigning World Champion.

As a result, podium finishes became difficult to come by for the Red Bull driver, who fell out of the championship fight.

Some pondered whether he rediscovered his form ahead of the summer break, as he claimed back-to-back podiums in Hungary and Belgium.

However, he went onto blow a chance of victory in the Netherlands, whilst he recently retired twice in Suzuka.

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It does seem to be a case of one-step forwards two steps back, with him openly recognising that his downward spiral started after Miami, something he puts down to it having felt like he was “driving another car”.

Perez admits that the run of shocking qualifying performances “destroyed” his self-esteem, to the extent where he “drove with no confidence” during the summer.

“At the beginning of the year I had a good feeling with the car, but cars evolve,” Perez told De Limburger.

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“After Miami, the situation got worse for me. I felt like I was driving another car, far from my needs.

“I failed to get through to Q3 several times, sometimes I even struggled to get through the first phase of qualifying.

“All this destroyed my self-esteem. In the summer I drove with no confidence, it was complicated,” he conceded.

Perez does need to find some form in the final six rounds of 2023, to avoid losing second in the Drivers’ Championship to seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.