Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has taken aim at Sergio Perez following a miserable Monaco Grand Prix that was effectively over before it started.
Perez’s hopes of narrowing his deficit to Max Verstappen in the championship were dashed when he crashed in the early stages of Q1 on Saturday.
The mistake in qualifying meant that Perez started the race in 20th, setting up what he called an “impossible” race while Verstappen took pole.
Things didn’t improve for Perez on Sunday as the Mexican endured an incident-packed race which included collisions with Lance Stroll, Kevin Magnussen and George Russell, five pit stops and a 16th place finish, two laps down on team-mate and race winner Verstappen.
Speaking about his driver’s dismal weekend, Marko told ServusTV: “It didn’t matter then. Everything went wrong there [Perez’s Q1 crash].”
The 80-year-old also branded the crash as “not irresponsible, but unreasonable”.
“I hope that today’s mistakes are enough for the rest of the season. In general, his speed when he drove free was good. But his crash in qualifying ruined the weekend,” he said to Sky Deutschland.
Adding his thoughts on Perez’s weekend, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said it just wasn’t his weekend.
“It was just a weekend where nothing worked for him at all,” he said. “I would say the sooner he comes to Barcelona, the better.”
Perez now trails Verstappen by 39 points with the Dutchman having now won four out of the opening six races.
“That’s the first big mistake I made in the World Championship,” Perez said in reflection.
“I have to apologise to the team here. Now I’m looking forward to the next race. I’m looking forward to the race and to getting started again soon.”
Marko naturally spoke very highly of Verstappen’s Monaco weekend which “started with an unbelievable qualifying lap and continued.”
“Max was always in control of the situation in all conditions – dry, semi-dry, extremely water – and controlled the pace with ease. An unbelievable performance.
“After it was clear when the rain was coming, we told him to try to stay out so that we didn’t have to stop twice. There was graining on the tyres, but they have then recovered. We saw that with others too.
“The communication between the technicians and Max was excellent. One wall was tight again, so we couldn’t breathe for a while. It went well again.”