Lewis Hamilton has criticised one Red Bull employee for not being “supportive” of Sergio Perez, believing it has contributed to a “difficult environment” for him.

Perez has been winless since triumphing in two of the first four races, dropping a huge 226 points behind Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, who has notched 15 victories.

The Mexican’s alarming slump has evoked repeated speculation about his future beyond the end of 2023, despite Perez retaining a contract with Red Bull next year.

Hamilton suspects that Perez has been unable to escape his ongoing rut due to not receiving complete support from every individual within the Red Bull camp.

Although the Briton failed to list a name, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko received an official warning from the FIA last month for attributing Perez’s form to his ethnicity.

“As a driver I understand the psychological and mental pressures weigh so heavily on you, it’s hard to explain and to put into words,” Hamilton told Fox Sports

“I think he has amazing support around him and I think he’s carried himself really well. 

“I don’t think his team has been massively supportive of him, I wouldn’t say team, because there’s a lot of people, but one particular spokesperson has not been great in helping psychologically. 

“If I heard Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team boss] talking negatively about me on the weekends, it would be quite tough. It’s a difficult environment for him, but I think he’s dealt with it to the best of his ability. 

“I was so excited for him at the beginning of the year because he was driving so well. At one point I think he was in the lead of the championship and I was like ‘ah shoot, we finally got the best of Checo’. 

“But it’s a really long year, a really long season. It’s the most demanding sport I think that there is.”

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing in parc ferme. 22.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Race Day.

Hamilton has commended Perez’s determination and is optimistic that the support of his home crowd in Mexico this weekend will provide a timely boost.

“The best thing about Checo is that he keeps getting up and trying,” he continued. “One thing for sure is that Mexico is going to show up for him this weekend. When I am at Silverstone, it gives you an extra bit of time. So I have no doubt he’ll have that.” 

Prior to the United States Grand Prix, Hamilton had taken advantage of Perez only accruing five points in three rounds to close to within 30 points of the Red Bull driver.

Whilst he reduced that further by finishing second in Austin last Sunday, Hamilton was subsequently disqualified from the grand prix because of a technical infringement.

Despite Mercedes being in contention for the on-track victory at the Circuit of the Americas, Hamilton admits it’s “unlikely” he can beat Perez to the runners-up spot.

“I think it’s unlikely, but I’ll give it my best shot,” he said regarding the 39 points that separate him and Perez in the standings.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t make any difference. Second or third [in the Drivers’ standings], it’s not first. Getting the team second is more the goal. That matters more.

“I think we are on a good trajectory but there are only four races which means Checo has to have four more really bad races basically, which is unlikely.”

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