Perez recovers to 4th in Spain: “It was a bit of damage limitation today”

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After a shocking qualifying that saw him out in Q2 and starting in eleventh position, Sergio Perez had a difficult task at hand to try and climb up the ranks to get closer to his teammate, Max Verstappen, who was leading the pack.

He managed to reach the eighth position by lap ten, and after pitting twice, he climbed to fourth. Extending the first stint was critical as he got stuck behind Fernando Alonso through most of it.

He would then pass Tsunoda, Alonso, Ocon and Sainz to move into P4.

By the end of the race, he was on a charge trying to catch up to George Russell and try to take the last podium position. However, he didn’t manage to reach him on time, ending up two seconds away from the British driver.

When asked about the surprising performance that Mercedes showed, he said: “I think it was a bit of damage limitation today, it was very difficult to follow, especially when we were on similar tire age, and that really cost me on that first stint, I think if we wanted more we should have taken a lot more risk on lap one, like George did for example, but that would have been quite difficult.

“It was quite hard to pass, actually. once I was behind Fernando I really had to do his pace, so that meant that it was a little bit tricky, but it’s what it is, I think if we wanted to finish higher we needed a much better qualifying, so looking forward for Montreal right now.

Perez lost a further 14 points in the championship to his teammate Verstappen and now trails the Dutchman by 53 points. He’s lost 39 points over the last 7 days.

“I think we minimised the damage a bit, that way we can get around and understand what went wrong because I generally felt we were not quite there this weekend, something we hopefully can solve and get back strong for Canada.

“I think especially after this one we gotta analyse and make sure we understand what happened and make sure we come back strong.”

When asked about his confidence now after the weekend he affirmed: “It is high, I’ve had a great season, I’ve had a great pace in the car, so I think we just operate in such a small window so that we need to have to be perfect to be able to have strong pace.”

On his Canada predictions, he said: “I think it should be a strong race for us but as we see everything is really close right now so it will be an interesting one.”

Photo credit: Red Bull Racing