Ever since his hard-earned second place at the Italian Grand Prix and the announcement of his move to McLaren, to replace outbound Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez has failed to score a single point and has put in some dismal and embarrassing performances. It would appear that Ferrari’s Luca Di Montezemolo was spot on stating that Perez was not ready for a drive at Ferrari based on his recent form.
The chain of mishaps for the young Mexican started at the Japanese Grand Prix where he lost control and spun into the gravel trap at the hairpin, whilst trying to overtake a struggling Lewis Hamilton. An impatient move compounded even more for Perez with his under-threat team-mate Kamui Kobayashi was the star of the race by calmly keeping Jenson Button behind him to finish third to the delight of the home crowd.
At the Indian Grand Prix Perez once again was too hot-headed attempting to overtake as he attempted to pass Daniel Ricciardo into turn 4 and clipped the Toro Rosso’s front wing, puncturing his right-rear tyre in the process. After struggling back to the pits to replace the damage tyre he only managed a handful more laps before retuning to call it a day with suspension damage, nil points once again.
Two weeks later and Perez was once again in the wars whilst in a three car scrap with Romain Grosjean and Paul Di Resta in Abu Dhabi. Going into the double chicane at the end of the second longest straight, an area in which Mark Webber had already banned wheels with Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Massa, Di Resta and Perez were side-by-side with the British driver taking to the grass to avoid making contact, Perez went wide onto the asphalt run-off by the sides of the track however when he rejoined he cut across Grosjean putting him out of the race and with Webber also getting caught up in the incident. Perez was hauled in for a stop-go penalty for making contact with Grosjean after coming back onto the track.
Earlier today at the Circuit of the Americas the Mexican driver was extremely lucky not to be penalised after punting Charles Pic’s Marussia off in third practice. Pic was going slower into turn 3 however there were no blue flags and it is always the driver behind’s responsibility not to slam into others regardless. Not only that but yesterday Perez received a reprimand for weaving infront of the other Marussia of Timo Glock, his on track behaviour in recent races contradicts his immature outburst after having a coming together with Maldonado at the British Grand Prix back in the summer. Compared to the incidents Maldonado got caught up in throughout the summer Perez’s obnoxious move on Pic this morning, along with waving his hand in disgust, was far worse and of bigger insult.
Perez currently stands on two reprimands, the other of which handed out after blocking Bruno Senna in Q1 at Abu Dhabi, should he pick up another before the season finishes he will be handed a ten place grid drop at the following event. At this rate he could end up carrying a grid drop penalty across into next season, which will hardly be the start that both he and his future employers McLaren would want.
His recent form has lead to his future team casting doubts over their decision to sign him, with Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh admitting that Perez has “rough edges” despite his potential and these rough edges and his inexperience are beginning to show. Perez recently claimed he could challenge for the Championship next season however he is never going to be able to do so if he’s stuck in a gravel trap or causing collisions!