Max Verstappen took another dominant victory over the weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix and more than likely putting an end the title hopes of Sergio Perez in the process.
Was Monaco the beginning of the end for the title hopes of Sergio Perez?
Sergio Perez headed into the Monaco Grand Prix just 14 points behind his teammate Max Verstappen who is currently leading the championship. Red Bull have been staggeringly quickly in previous years at Monaco and this year was no different however it did not go the way the team expected. In Q1 on his second push lap Perez crashed at Sainte-Devote damaged the car heavily by tearing the rear left corner off the car. Due to the crash he was out of qualifying in the first session and down in last place.
Throughout the race the Mexican driver did manage to make up places but this was Monaco and overtaking does not come easy. Perez had managed to find himself on the back of Kevin Magnussen before he went into the back of the Haas and damaged his wing meaning he had to pit after already visiting the pits once on lap one. Perez was trying to go to the end of the race on a set of Hard tyres but with wing damage and the incoming rain it looked all but certain he would not be scoring any points. Contact with George Russell also did not help his chances with the Mercedes driver sliding off the track and rejoining unsafely resulting in the collision at Mirabeau High. Russell did eventually get a five second penalty for the incident and because he slid off the track missed out on a much needed podium for Mercedes.
Red Bull also used Perez as a tyre tester for Verstappen as the rain came down hurting his chances of any points whatsoever. The rain effected race saw Verstappen hit the wall at Portier but it was not enough for any damage. This saw the two time world champion pit for intermediate tyres. Meanwhile the team had boxed Perez twice in the wet conditions for full wets first before calling him back in for a set of inters.
Perez finished in 16th place and two laps behind Verstappen which would be agonising for him being his closest rival in the championship and after such a strong start at the beginning of the season. It now all seems like a what could have been for him now a staggering 39 points behind Verstappen after just six races. With a gap like that and the pace Verstappen and Red Bull are showing it is going to be a very tough task for anyone to stop them from taking three consecutive world championships.
Over the course of the race Perez had pit five times and after the race was not happy with how his weekend had played out. When talking to the media he said, "I have to move on, learn from it, and I cannot afford another zero in the championship." Meanwhile Red Bull team principal Christian Horner blamed the poor weekend on the qualifying crash and instantly put them on the back foot.
Both Horner and Perez want a better weekend in Barcelona where the Spanish Grand Prix is taking place just one week on from the dreadful weekend in Monaco where his title hopes were in tatters.