Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko says Sergio Perez is having a “wake-up call” amid a poor run of form across the last handful of races.
During Saturday’s qualifying session ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, Perez struggled to extract pace from his RB19 car and was eliminated in Q2.
Team-mate Max Verstappen, meanwhile, went on to take pole position – his fourth of the year.
Last weekend in Monaco, Perez also had a difficult weekend as he crashed out in qualifying which resulted in a starting position towards the back of the grid.
With Monaco’s track being tight and narrow and offering very few overtaking opportunities, Perez couldn’t progress through the field and walked away with zero points scored.
Speaking to Sky Deutschland, Marko says that Perez must focus less on the title in a bid to recover his form.
“With Sergio, things have not been going well since Monte Carlo,” he said. “He needs to concentrate more on racing, not on the title. I hope he recovers himself.
“The whole weekend it was already the case that he was three-to-five tenths slower. It’s now the second consecutive weekend [with problems].”
At Red Bull’s sister team, AlphaTauri, rookie Nyck de Vries has also had trouble getting up to speed.
However, Marko denies that there is any comparison between the duo and the difficulties they are facing.
“That’s a different situation and he [Perez] believed in his World Championship dream. Checo is getting a relatively hard wake-up call now, but I’m sure he’ll pick himself up again.”
Despite Red Bull possessing a large advantage in race pace over the rest of the field, Marko concedes that a recovery to the podium is unlikely for Perez.
“The podium I think is very optimistic,” he said. “If it gets hot then tyre wear will be higher, but a three-stop [strategy] is possible.
“Then it is possible that if he overtakes some cars he could still finish third, but that will be difficult.”