Marko left unimpressed by "summer break" Perez


For the third successive race weekend, Helmut Marko has criticised Sergio Perez' performance, claiming the Mexican appeared to be on "summer break mode".

Speaking in France after Perez was caught out by George Russell at the restart that followed the safety car, thereby losing the final podium place to the Mercedes driver, Marko suggested the Mexican had been drunk.

"Checo was sleeping at the restart," he told Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung. "Maybe he drank tequila yesterday."

This followed criticism of the driver at the previous race in Austria, following the early move on George Russell in which the pair clashed and subsequently led to the Mexican having to retire due to the damage incurred.

"We said before the start 'don't go around the outside in that corner, it is not possible'," Marko told Sky Sport Germany at the time.

Now, speaking after Perez failed to make it into Q3, leaving him starting the Hungarian Grand Prix from eleventh, just behind his teammate, Marko has once again piled into the Mexican.

"He is too far behind Max Verstappen at the moment," he told Sky Sport Germany. "He was struggling in all the practice sessions, so we will have to sit down with each other.

"The summer break hasn't started yet, but he already seems to be in that mode," he added.

"We need to speak to him and he needs to stick to Verstappen's set-ups and be there from first practice. If you're a second slower in first free practice, you don't catch up.

"We saw that in some races last year as well. We managed to eradicate that then, so we have to make sure we counter that again."

With Red Bull's Lord High Executioner not known for his patience, and sections of the media appearing to begin criticising Perez - who has a contract keeping him at the Austrian outfit until 2024 - one has to wonder if Marko has other ideas.

Check out our Saturday gallery from the Hungaroring here.

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Published: 30/07/2022
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