Sergio Perez declares he “couldn’t care less” about the speculation surrounding his Red Bull future after enduring another disappointing weekend at the British Grand Prix.
The Mexican failed to advance to Q3 for the fifth consecutive round on Saturday, dropping out in Q1 and resigning himself to encountering yet another comeback drive.
A touch with Esteban Ocon on the opening lap and then pitting before the Safety Car was deployed further hampered his recovery bid, leaving Perez to trail home sixth.
“Nothing worked today, I had a great launch today but then I got hit by Ocon on Lap 1 and I lost position instead of gaining, so it made it harder the recovery, I used too much my tyres in that first stint, we boxed I think three laps before the Safety Car so it wasn’t meant to be, but I the end we gave it all and did what we possibly could,” he lamented.
Although he was able to eventually overtake both Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso in the closing stages, Perez argued that it was challenging to follow another car in close proximity once the racing resumed.
“It was really hard to make progress, especially at the end where everyone is on the same tyre age, there is no tyre delta, was very difficult to make any progress, because following through high speed is quite tricky,” Perez explained.
“Yeah, it just makes it harder, when you want to follow you just lose the downforce so it makes it harder. I think with a little more luck we could finish higher.”
While Max Verstappen notched a sixth consecutive victory, Perez’s hopes of fighting his team-mate for the win were undone by another wretched qualifying display.
The 33-year-old has not contested a Q3 session since taking pole position in Miami in May and asserts that he must get on top of his persistent qualifying issues to ensure his race-day prospects aren’t hampered.
“I think it’s just amount of detail, I have become a little bit more sensitive to the car in the last few races, especially on a Saturday, on low fuel, something that I’m going to be working on from tomorrow in the simulator with the team,” he revealed.
“We have some ideas, but we operate in such a small window of detail that, yeah, I mean, you know, just that we need a strong Saturday and the positive thing is the pace is there on Sundays where the points are given but we have to sort out and have a clean weekend because the pace is there.”
However, Perez is remaining upbeat that he can get on top of his struggles over a single lap sooner rather than later.
“We’re making a lot of progress because the pace is there on Sundays, but it’s just the whole weekend overall, we’ve had a few bad weekends,” he acknowledged.
“At the end of the day, it only matters where we finish in Abu Dhabi, it’s a long season still, and I fully believe I can get my season back on track.”
As for speculation regarding his long-term future with the Red Bull team, Perez, who is now 99 points adrift of Verstappen, insists he “couldn’t care less” about any rumours.
“In F1 in 13 years I’ve seen it all, not worried about any of that, I’m mainly focused about getting my season back on track and making sure I keep enjoying this,” he added.
“I have full support from Helmut [Marko] and Christian [Horner], the whole team is fully supporting me, they know what I can do, they know my potential, and they are fully behind me.”