Perez downplays Red Bull pace concerns

Sergio Perez says Red Bull must “keep working” to fend off their rivals, with McLaren and Ferrari close behind.

The Milton Keynes outfit struggled in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but the 34-year-old believes those issues were “track specific”.

Despite this, the Mexican believes the constructors' champions must keep their “head down” to avoid being overtaken by the chasing pack.

Red Bull was forced to make comprehensive changes to its car settings in preparation for qualifying at Imola, after Perez and his teammate Max Verstappen suffered badly during the two rounds of testing on Friday. However, while the Dutchman managed to recover and put his RB20 into the lead, Perez failed to make Q3 – moving up to 11th.

Although he managed to return to eighth place at the end of the race, there was still cause for concern. Lando Norris almost collided with Verstappen in the closing stages, almost losing his second consecutive Grand Prix win.

“I think it has a little to do with the ring,” Perez told media outlets including: Racing News 365 When asked if there was concern that the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix was a sign of things to come.

“I think we have to keep our heads down and keep working. However, I am happy to have Max [Verstappen] I got the victory for the team.

“We saw that McLaren [and] Ferrari has taken a step forward, so we'll just have to keep our heads down. The season is long. [We have to] Continue to maximize opportunities.”

Imola's passing is notoriously difficult, so despite only recovering three positions from his relatively modest starting position, Perez felt he got the most out of the afternoon.

In the opening stages, he struggled to make progress on the hard tyres, with his lead on the medium yellowwall tyres. However, when those cars stopped, Perez ran a long distance, allowing him a later stint on faster rubber, when he began to pass the right-back and the Haas team in front.

“I think we kind of knew this was the best we could get,” he added. He added: “Obviously we knew the car was going to be very difficult at the start, but we were hoping for a safety car at the right point which would potentially get us back into the fray.”

“The first period was very difficult. I think it was affected a lot by the traffic at the beginning, and the traffic at the end – the people going through it.”

The Red Bull driver admitted to making an off-track trip in the early part of the race, although he did not feel it affected his position at the end with the Mercedes enjoying a comfortable lead over the Mexican.

“I also had confinement coming in [Turn] 16. So I headed straight and lost a lot of time. I also picked up some damage. “It's just a very tough race.”


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