Hamilton only three tenths quicker than anyone in F1 - Perez
Sergio Perez believes that the whole F1 field, from five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton to those at the back of the grid, would only be split by three tenths of a second if put in equal machinery.
The SportPesa Racing Point driver has punched above his weight like few other drivers in the V6 Hybrid era, scoring podiums in all but one of the past five seasons, which have been utterly dominated by Mercedes, with Ferrari and Red Bull generally fighting between themselves for second place.
In the past two seasons, there has only been one instance of a driver outside the 'top three' making the podium – Perez did so in Baku last year and his current SportPesa Racing Point team-mate Lance Stroll did likewise the year before in Azerbaijan, driving for Williams.
Ten races into 2019, only five drivers have been on the rostrum – both Mercedes, the two Ferrari drivers, and Red Bull's Max Verstappen – but Perez says that is nothing to do with a lack of talent further down the grid.
"It is something bad for the sport and bad for drivers. You have fantastic drivers that have never been on a single podium. That is crazy to hear," Perez told select media including GPFans.
"Between the best and the worst [drivers] it is three tenths. In between the best and the worst car it is more than three seconds.
"So, it is something fundamentally wrong."
Perez labelled F1's 2021 regulation change as a "massive opportunity" for teams like SportPesa Racing Point, but says the ferocity of competition in F1's midfield shows what can be achieved.
"I hope they keep good cars, fast cars," he said. "When you look at the midfield, today, one-tenth will change a lot, from P16 to P8, and I want that for the whole of the grid; that things are not won by teams, but by drivers.
"I think it's what all the drivers want to see. To be in a series where the driver can make the difference.
"I think that would be what's best for the sport. If they can achieve that - that would be great.
At the moment it's a team series, not a driver series."
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