Sergio Perez endured a Monaco Grand Prix to forget on Sunday, with the 2022 winner of the iconic race having been lapped twice by Max Verstappen, who claimed his fourth win of 2023.
Starting from last following his crash in Q1 set Perez up for a challenging afternoon at the Circuit de Monaco; however, even he probably couldn’t imagine just how difficult it would be.
The Mexican made a steady start to the race and opted to pit at the end of the opening lap, in order to ditch his Medium tyres for a set of Hards.
Red Bull’s plan was to have the Mexican then go all the way to the end, whilst making the most of the clean air ahead of him due to having pitted so early.
At first, the strategy looked like a good one, but it quickly began to unravel as he caught the backmarkers.
Checo’s pace was significantly better than those ahead; however, it was virtually impossible for him to make any progress.
He was able to make a couple places during the opening phases of the race, until he found himself behind Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.
Whilst he was clearly quicker, Perez couldn’t find a way past the Canadian, until he tried an audacious move as Verstappen tried to lap the duo.
Perez and Stroll both slowed down to allow Verstappen past; however, Perez quickly got onto the back of his team-mate as he lapped Stroll, to which the Mexican attempted to follow Verstappen through.
Stroll could see what Perez was trying and quickly positioned his car in such a way that the Red Bull driver had to cut the Nouvelle chicane, resulting in contact between the pair.
Perez was fuming with Stroll following the incident, with the Mexican having opted to re-join the circuit ahead of the 24-year-old.
“Stroll pushed me off!” exclaimed Perez over the team radio.
“What the f*** was that? Is that allowed? He pushed me off.”
The FIA were going to make Perez give the position back to Stroll; however, the Mexican found himself back behind the Aston Martin driver a couple laps later after he drove into the back of Kevin Magnussen.
Perez was in the wars again in the latter stages of the race, with the Mexican having hit George Russell who was attempting to re-join the circuit.
Russell was awarded a five-second penalty for venturing back onto the circuit in an unsafe manner, with the Briton having been caught out by the sudden downpour.
It marked an eventful and ultimately woeful race for Checo, who could only salvage 16th after making five pit-stops, with him having also been lapped twice by Verstappen.
As a result, Perez finds himself 39 points behind the reigning World Champion ahead of the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix.