Helmut Marko claims that Sergio Perez appears to have entered the “summer slump” already after failing to make it out of Q2 in Hungary.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez finished fifth in the final grand prix weekend before Formula 1 breaks for the summer after starting from P11 on the Hungaroring grid.

In every practice leading up to Q2, the driver lagged behind teammate Max Verstappen by about seven-tenths. This time round he was eight-tenths behind Verstappen and was unable to advance.

Marko is not that impressed with the Mexican’s performance in recent races despite recently signing a new two-year contract that runs until 2024 and the Red Bull’s senior advisor, has reprimanded him twice already.

“Perez is too far away from Max at the moment,” Marko told Sky Germany on Saturday evening. “That was the difficult situation in all the sessions.

“We have to sit down together… The summer slump isn’t here yet, but he seems to have fallen into it.”

It’s only a week ago that Mexican driver Perez had received a similar reprimand from Marko for the way he picked up pace at the restart at Paul Ricard.

“It’s very unfortunate that Checo was asleep,” Marko said after the French Grand Prix. “A certain third place was lost there. Maybe he was drinking too much tequila last night.”

Max Verstappen experienced an engine issue in Hungary on Saturday which did not stop him from winning the Hungarian Grand Prix despite starting the Sunday’s race from P10. In contrast, Perez in the sister Red Bull car failed to qualify for the third round.

“It was a difficult situation in all the practice sessions too, so we have to sit down together,” Marko said after Saturday’s practice. “The summer break hasn’t started yet, but Perez already seems to be on holiday.”

“We need to talk to him and he should continue to use Max’s setup.”

Despite starting this season on pace with the current World Champion, Perez has slipped behind him in recent races. However, he attributes that to Red Bull’s upgrades and claims that he is less comfortable in the car as a result.

In Marko’s opinion, to solve this problem Perez should use Verstappen’s setup.

“He has to stick to Max again in the set-up,” said the 79-year-old. “He has to be there from the first practice session. If you’re a second away in the first practice session, you won’t catch up.”

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