Ex-Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok believes that Sergio Perez has been “broken” by Red Bull.

A strong start to the 2023 season saw Perez emerge victorious at two of the opening four races and whispers began of a potential title fight between the Red Bull pair.

However, Perez was then convincingly beaten by team-mate Max Verstappen in the following rounds and endured a five-race streak in which he failed to reach the final segment of qualifying.

The gap between the pair now reads 125 points in favour of Verstappen, who is en route to a third consecutive F1 title.

Red Bull is enjoying a dominant year, breaking the long-standing record of most consecutive wins, which currently stands at 13.

But reflecting on Perez’s form, he told the Sky Sports F1 podcast: ”I will say the only other thing they appear to have broken is their second driver in some ways.

“At the start of the year, I go back to the drive he put in, in Jeddah, but more importantly in Baku.

“Crofty [David Croft] and I were in the commentary box there saying he would have overtaken Max, let alone the strategy, he would have overtaken Max on track and won that race.”

Chandhok highlighted the Miami Grand Prix as the moment when Perez’s season began to unravel.

The Mexican started from pole position while Verstappen started from ninth, however the latter overcame the gap and passed his team-mate for the win.

“It was a proper convincing performance [in Baku], admittedly at one of his strongest circuits on the calendar,” Chandhok said. “But ever since he got overtaken on whatever it was, lap 41 [sic, 48] in Miami – it’s just gone away from him.

“And you know, I look at what happened even at the weekend at Spa. Max got ahead of him and he put 22 seconds on him in 27 laps.

“That’s a big chunk of performance to put around a track where they are spending a lot of time at full throttle driving around in a straight line, essentially.

“To me, that is the cause of concern, the only cause of concern, in the Red Bull camp.

“Is this the fourth teammate that Max has potentially broken? Who can they have alongside him?

“Or do they just say, ‘you know what, we don’t really need anyone to be challenging him, we’re happy for somebody to be half a second off the pace because our car is good enough for Max to be able to deliver at that level’.”

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