Sergio Perez is closing doors

Bayden Westerweller Roar Guru

By , Bayden Westerweller is a Roar Guru

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    Sergio Perez entered the season at a crossroads, yet his recent actions, culminating in the cataclysmic friendly fire at Belgium, have smacked of desperation as the Mexican faces another campaign in the midfield.

    Having already collided on the opening lap, the Force India driver compromised both his and teammate Esteban Ocon’s afternoon when he closed the door on the Frenchman on the run towards Eau Rouge on lap 30, yet the consequences could easily have been much graver.

    Much more colourful on the radio immediately following the incident, Ocon later remarked to Channel 4 that Perez was “risking lives for nothing… I don’t know if he wants to die or something.”

    Perez refuted the accusation, claiming on Twitter that he was “disappointed to see his comments that I want to kill him or whatever”. He stopped short of accepting responsibility for the incident.

    Perez ultimately retired while Ocon finished ninth, though it was far from the first occasion that the team has conceded points this season on account of the quarrelsome duo, and it has rapidly become apparent that no love is lost between the pair.

    The Mexican’s stubbornness cost the outfit a third place finish at Canada when he refused to allow his faster teammate through, while a collision at Azerbaijan denied a potential double podium in a race of high attrition, though Ocon shouldered most of the blame on that occasion.

    Regardless, it’s Perez’s tendency to engage in petty disputes which must be ringing alarm bells for the front-running outfits that he has designs on, especially considering his relative experience in his seventh season on the grid.

    His forgettable solitary campaign at McLaren in 2013 unfortunately coincided with the Woking outfit’s downturn in fortunes, and he admirably restored his credibility upon joining Force India the following season, claiming podiums in each season until present.

    For this reason it was logical to assume that he was next in line for another opportunity with a top-line concern, and for the large part his results this season haven’t fallen short of expectations, with nine points finishes and seventh in the standings speaking to his consistency.

    Despite this, his selfishness and inability to reactively acknowledge the context of a racing situation cannot endear him to the major players when the stakes are so much higher, and the notion that he appears flustered by his much younger teammate is of concern.

    Perez enjoyed the measure of highly esteemed former partner Nico Hülkenberg over their three seasons alongside each other, thus the German’s switch to Renault, complete with the trappings of manufacturer status and with signs of breaking into the front-running tier sooner rather than later, must be galling for the Mexican.

    Valtteri Bottas was fortuitous enough to benefit from the unexpected departure of Nico Rosberg, though the Finn has already validated the faith instilled by Mercedes, while Kimi Räikkönen’s continued retention at Ferrari would frustrate Perez – yet he can’t allow this to destroy his efforts.

    Formula One is littered with examples of great drivers who never cracked the big time, and by virtue of his impatience, Perez continues to portray himself as a liability to future suitors.