Sergio Perez brutally told he made mistake ‘even a 13-year-old wouldn’t make’
Hamilton certain Red Bull's fate is sealed after what F1 rival Verstappen did
Sergio Perez has been blasted for his failure to keep Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc behind him at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, with the Red Bull driver’s driving labelled worse ‘than a 13-year-old’. The Mexican finished on the podium for the first time since the Italian Grand Prix after starting 12th on the grid, but his comeback drive was still not good enough in the eyes of some of his critics.
The 33-year-old took the lead of the race with 15 laps to go but still finished third, despite the fact his team-mate Max Verstappen served a five-second penalty during his pitstop. The Dutchman caught Perez with ease and made a simple pass, putting Red Bull on course for a 1-2 finish.
But on the final lap, Leclerc caught Perez under DRS and made a daring move under braking to snatch second place. Perez left the door open for the Monegasque to launch his car up the inside and Le Mans winner Richard Bradley has ripped into him for failing to keep the Ferrari behind him, comparing it to a mistake he made when he was 13.
“When I was karting, my dad used to record all of my races with a handheld camera so we could watch them back,” Bradley said on the On Track GP podcast.
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“There was one race when I was 13 where I was really stupid and knew I’d made a mistake afterwards and I didn’t block in a very similar way to Perez on the last lap when I was leading and five karts went by me – I learned some new words when I watched that video back!
“For a 13-year-old that was some mature language, but I deserved it and [Perez’s] was identical. That shouldn’t be happening when you’re 13 years old, let alone when you’re in Formula One.
“Why on earth didn’t he even move to the inside? You just park your car on the inside. It’s very similar to what Max did when he overtook Leclerc. Max overtook Leclerc on the inside and thought that Leclerc was giving him the room.
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“Leclerc then tried to outbrake him on the outside, so Max just released the brake and put Leclerc in a position where he couldn’t turn into the corner. He had to let Max go.”
Perez has secured second place in the Drivers’ Championship ahead of Lewis Hamilton after securing the six points he needed to mathematically put himself beyond the reach of the Mercedes star. But with a 276-point margin separating himself and Verstappen after just two victories in the RB19 this season, there are more improvements to be made.
He has been under pressure to keep his seat for 2024 and his failure to keep Leclerc at bay will only strengthen those calls, but Christian Horner has quashed reports that he could be replaced by Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo or Liam Lawson with public assurances that their second driver will remain with the team for next season.
And Perez will be hoping to prove his doubters wrong with a statement performance in their curtain raiser in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
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