In fairness to Perez, the gap would have been closer to half a minute should he not have pitted for a new set of soft tyres for a fastest lap attempt, something that he did to prevent Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton from claiming.
"Today was a bit of a surprise," he said after the race. "We just didn’t have the pace. It was looking good on the hard tyre initially but once the safety car came in I couldn’t recover the grip on that tyre and we didn’t have the pace on the medium.
"It is important we take time to understand the weekend because this race, in particular, has been poor in pace and we need to get on top of it.
"I have the confidence in myself and know what I can do but today we were not good. Right now, I am more concerned about my drop in performance than my place in the championship because the pace is just not there.
"You never have no pressure on you, it has been a difficult period but I am here to perform and I need to do that in the next few races."
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