Perez Doing 'Respectable Job Against One Of Greatest' Hinchcliffe Asserts

Thursday, 14 March 2024 at 18:15
perezverstappen sergio redbull rbcp15
Canadian race car driver and F1 analyst James Hinchcliffe evaluated Sergio Perez's performance after the second race of the 2024 season.
Helmut Marko outlined criteria for Perez to meet during the 2024 season if he wants to be considered for the seat in 2025 as well. The 34-year-old's goal is to finish second in the Championship with "one or two" race wins.
That is basically what the Mexican driver achieved last season. However, the previous season probably wouldn't have earned him the seat at Red Bull. Christian Horner also said that Checo needs to improve his performance directly compared to Max Verstappen.
Were Perez's performances so far good enough to be considered at Red Bull? Writing for the official F1 website, James Hinchcliffe shared his opinion.

"Again in qualifying the three and a half tenth gap to Max Verstappen was higher than ideal, but his race day performance was much closer."

After qualifying, the Mexican driver admitted that he couldn't match Verstappen's amazing lap. It also meant that he had to start from P4 on the grid, so he lost some time in battles with two cars between him and the triple World Champion, who started from pole position.

"By the time he had cleared Lando Norris for P2, on Lap 18, Verstappen was five seconds up the road. Over the ensuing two-thirds of the race, he lost only a further two and a half seconds to the three-time champ."

Losing only two and a half seconds on Verstappen within the next 32 laps means that Perez was within a tenth of a second from the Dutchman's lap time on average.

"Not exactly threatening for the win, but doing a respectable job against one of the greatest to ever hold a steering wheel."

Alpine's reserve driver, Jack Doohan, said he believed that Perez's current performances would be enough to keep his seat in Red Bull. But, as Hinchcliffe added, it will be interesting to see whether the 34-year-old can retain his current form in the remaining races of the season.

"It will be interesting to see if Jeddah is an outlier track for Perez, or if he can maintain at least this level of relative performance consistently throughout the year."