Sergio Perez on the chopping block at Red Bull

Speculation surrounds Sergio Perez's future as the Mexican once again fails to maximise the capabilities of the RB-19.

After another weekend of poor qualifying, Red Bull driver Sergio Perez looks in danger of squandering his title chances after an extraordinary start to the season.

The Mexican started the campaign with two wins in the opening four races – with the victories coming in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.

The tremendous form led many to believe that Perez could challenge teammate Max Verstappen for the F1 title, but a slump in recent weeks has led some to question whether Perez will even finish the season at Red Bull.

Former Mclaren mechanic, Marc Priestley is among those doubters.

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“In qualifying, he made some mistakes,” he said.

“He messed up and that really set him up for the race where he started further back than he would have wanted to.

“Then it’s a struggle in the middle of the pack – he tried to do some different things on strategy and we know how quick the car is because we saw it in the hands of Verstappen.

“With Perez, I don’t know if he’s lost confidence over recent weeks – there was talk of a championship fight just literally two races ago. Now people are even questioning his right to be in that car. Can he even make it to the end of the season?” said Priestley.

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The RB-19 has proved to be a formidable force; Verstappen finished the Spanish Grand Prix 24 seconds ahead of runner-up Lewis Hamilton and has been a class above his opponents all season.

Is pressure hindering Sergio Perez?

Initially, the speed of the RB-19 had worked in Perez’s favour, but now it appears expectation has plagued the Mexican.

Perez was able to cut through the pack come race day in Barcelona, putting his qualifying woes behind him.

Despite his best efforts, Mercedes driver George Russell was able to hold onto third place, successfully completing a Mercedes 2-3.

READ: Red Bull hit out at George Russell

Team principal Christian Horner has spoken in defence of Perez, adamant improvement will come:

“We know what Checo is capable of, we’ve seen in races like Azerbaijan and Saudi already this year what he’s capable of doing, and I’m sure he’ll re-find that form in the future.”

However, if Perez fails to capture the form that put him in title contention then there’s no doubt Horner won’t hesitate to cut him loose – just ask Alex Albon or Pierre Gasly.