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Former F1 engineer identifies KEY trait Perez lacks

Former F1 engineer identifies KEY trait Perez lacks

Former F1 engineer identifies KEY trait Perez lacks

Former F1 engineer identifies KEY trait Perez lacks

Ernest Knoors has claimed that Red Bull driver Sergio Perez lacks the 'killer mentality' that his team-mate Max Verstappen possesses in abundance.

The Mexican has struggled to keep up with his team-mate's supreme performances so far in 2023, with Verstappen winning 12 of the first 14 races of the season and running away with the world championship.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Verstappen setup quirk which allows Red Bull to make car even fasters

Perez, on the other hand, has only been able to win two races, and has even struggled to finish in second position behind his team-mate, with Sunday's Italian Grand Prix being the sixth 1-2 finish for the dominant RB19, but just the fourth in which Verstappen has been first.

The Mexican is under pressure to perform, with his contract with the team expiring at the end of 2024, and it is integral that he can at least put the car second behind Verstappen, whilst they have such a dominant car.

Now, Knoors has said that it's Perez's particular skillset and mentality that has stopped him from performing to the best of the car's ability.

"A point of criticism, if you look at his racing in Austria and here, for example, he very often tries the same trick when he wants to overtake at the end of the straight, you saw him actually choose the same line every time here, and then [he] just hopes it works," he told Viaplay after the Italian GP.

"I don't know what it is. Whether he doesn't [have] the confidence, or does not [have] the skill.... It just happens just too often I think, and then you have to try something else."

Perez's recent improved performances

Sergio Perez has struggled in 2023, whilst his team-mate has won 12 of the 14 races so far

At the start of the season, it really looked like Perez could challenge Verstappen for the title in 2023. He won two of the first four races and was very much in the championship battle.

That was the last time he was in a championship battle, however. Since then, Verstappen has won ten races in a row (breaking a Formula 1 record for consecutive victories) and now leads Perez by a gargantuan 145 points going into the final eight races of the season.

Dr Helmut Marko has recently suggested that since giving up on his dream of winning a world championship, Perez has been much more focused on getting the most he can out of his RB19 car for the team.

That has been evident in his results recently, achieving three podiums in the last four races. He now has a 49 point gap over third-place Fernando Alonso in the drivers' championship, and is on course to deliver Red Bull's first ever 1-2 finish in the overall championship standings.

Going into 2024, however, Perez will have to show that he can seriously compete with his team-mate, if he is to stay with the team longer into the future.

"I then still think [he lacks] a bit the killer mentality of Verstappen, who is much more decisive, in how he does things," Knoors continued.

"That might be, if you want to show where are the differences between those drivers, those are the moments where you see that."

READ MORE: Unstoppable Verstappen is a MAJOR PROBLEM for F1

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