Struggling Perez admits hiring ‘mental coach’

Sergio Perez admits he hired a “mental coach” this year as the pressure of being dominant Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen’s teammate ramped up.

Many insiders believe that, notwithstanding the Mexican’s signed-and-sealed 2024 contract, recent races indicate the Perez is no longer up to the task of being a Red Bull driver.

“When the season started, the car suited me perfectly,” Perez, 33, has now told De Limburger newspaper.

“But cars evolve during the season. After Miami it went downhill for me. I had another car that didn’t suit me very well.

“I then failed to get into Q3 a few times, which affected my confidence and made me drive a lot slower. But in the beginning I was competing for the world title.

“That was very difficult. Because when you drive for a top team, the pressure to perform increases rapidly,” said Perez.

However, notwithstanding his dismal and calamitous Japanese GP, Perez insists he has improved.

“My confidence returned when I realised that I had won races on my own earlier in the year,” he said. “I dare say that I am now 100 percent again.

“And I am once again convinced that I have a chance at the world title next year.”

However, he admits his 2023 struggles have affected him far behind the race track.

“Formula 1 is my sport, my life, my passion,” said Perez. “When you have such a hard time at work, it is difficult to be cheerful at home with your wife and children.

“That’s why I hired a mental coach, because my family deserves to have that cheerful father at home. Together with my coach, I worked on becoming the best version of myself at home, but also as a driver.”

He therefore hits back at the notion that he is set to lose his Red Bull seat sooner rather than later.

“I am grateful to Red Bull for giving me the opportunity to drive for a top team,” said Perez. “After all, I am a driver who did not come from their own program.

“It would be great if I could end my career here. But being a driver for this team is not easy. Red Bull works in a different way than most teams.

“But that’s why they’re so successful.”

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