Sergio Perez‘s form has left Red Bull battling “a little bit one-legged at the moment” against F1 rivals Ferrari and McLaren, according to 1996 world champion Damon Hill.

Perez made a strong start to the season, finishing second to Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen in three of the opening four races. But a dip in form has coincided with Red Bull’s F1 rivals Ferrari and McLaren applying the pressure in recent events.

In the past three races in Miami, Imola and Monaco, Perez has finished fourth, eighth and crashed out on the first lap after being knocked out in Q1. Despite this, Red Bull have decided to stick with the Mexican, handing him a new two-year contract.

“I definitely think it’s game-on and there’s two teams that are both showing pace and closing the gap at certain circuits to Red Bull,” Hill told the F1 Nation podcast.

“I think if you give Red Bull the right kind of track and they might be hard to catch them, but definitely Ferrari and McLaren, don’t forget they’ve both got two drivers who can attack.

“I’m not sure you can say that of Checo. So a little bit one-legged at the moment, Red Bull, if they want to defend.

“It’s no good being three-tenths away from Verstappen anymore, because so many cars can jump in that gap. The gaps have become smaller and smaller.

“Points-wise you can see its diminishing. Max’s run of total dominance seems to be faltering, and there is a long way to go. It’s such a long season.”

McLaren’s Lando Norris, who brilliantly held off Verstappen to claim his maiden F1 victory in Miami, hinted that Perez’s struggles to match his teammate have opened the door to opportunities.

“There’s plenty of opportunities for us, and we know we still have some things coming in the future,” Norris said. “And if things turn around, then we can easily start to come back at some of the teams, you know.

“So, especially because I think we’re probably the team, along with Ferrari at least, where we have two cars up there performing at every single session and every single race in qualifying.

“So I think if you look at a lot of the grid, they don’t really have that yet, they have one guy who’s put in a mega lap and then has a good race and the other one not so much.

“So I think one of our strengths is that we’ve always had two cars up there and we can fight well along with Ferrari at the minute.”