July 23, 2024

A tremendous amount of pressure is on Sergio Perez going into the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend.

Red Bull will be unhappy that Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton are now strong contenders for the race win; this will increase pressure on Sergio Perez to perform better and deny Max Verstappen more points.

As the race approaches the Hungaroring, Verstappen is leading Red Bull’s Constructors’ Championship title contest, outscoring teammate Perez 255-118. After 12 races, the Milton Keynes-based team leads McLaren by 69 points due to the three-time world champion’s unwavering consistency.

If Mercedes and McLaren continue on their current development paths, that lead will, however, continue to narrow. Eight races in a row, the former team’s car has finished on the podium thanks to the consistent top-end finishes of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

Mercedes has now entered the picture after Hamilton’s on-pace victory at Silverstone gave the Silver Arrows back-to-back victories. Despite their dismal start to the season, the Brackley-based team is not a title contender; however, having them at the front will put more pressure on Verstappen, who is currently holding his own against McLaren.

Perez is the crux of the issue for Red Bull. Zak Brown’s remarks at Silverstone last weekend made this apparent. “Ultimately, I believe it will depend on Perez,” stated the CEO of McLaren Racing.

“You just have to assume that for the remainder of the year, Max will finish first, second, or third in every race—probably with more firsts than thirds. Sergio’s poor performance is what’s allowing us to see outside. We could win the remainder of the year if our point total for the last six races is the same, in my opinion. Thus, we are fully cognizant of it.

If Perez’s performance doesn’t get better, McLaren will have a real chance to challenge Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship. Nonetheless, Norris and Piastri will need to perform to the highest level possible to make sure they don’t lose out on the race wins since Verstappen and Hamilton are now competing for the same prize.

This has been especially frustrating for Norris in the last few weeks. After missing three consecutive race wins, the British driver’s lead over Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship is growing as he travels to Hungary.

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