Carlos Sainz is "not on Leclerc's level", according to outspoken 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve.
Indeed, while former 2022 championship leader Charles Leclerc looked dominant in Barcelona until his turbo failure, Spanish teammate Sainz had another difficult weekend.
"Sainz just isn't a good indicator. He was all over the place.
"He isn't comfortable in his own skin either," said the Dutchman. "When I see him on camera, I don't see the Sainz from a few years ago.
"He seems defeated by Leclerc."
"If Perez has his very best day and Verstappen has his very worst day, only then will Perez have the chance to get ahead of Max," he said.
As for Sainz, Villeneuve thinks the big problem for the 27-year-old at present is that he is "making too many mistakes".
"He is clearly not at Leclerc's level so he really has to be on the edge all the time to keep up. That shouldn't happen in a car that can win races and the championship.
"That he ends up behind a Mercedes and off the podium is not a good look," the Canadian said.