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Perez vows to atone for 'missed Imola opportunity'

Perez vows to atone for 'missed Imola opportunity'

F1 News

Perez vows to atone for 'missed Imola opportunity'

Perez vows to atone for 'missed Imola opportunity'
GPFans Staff

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has vowed to make amends for what he feels was "a missed opportunity" last time out in Imola.

On his second F1 outing with the team, Perez delivered a superb performance on Saturday at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to qualify second ahead of team-mate Max Verstappen and behind pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes.

On Sunday, however, Perez's race unravelled from the start as he was slow off the line in comparison to Verstappen.

Following a lap-one accident involving Williams' Nicholas Latifi, Perez then made a mistake by running off track behind the safety car, and then compounded the error by overtaking to make up the two places lost which earned him a penalty.

The Mexican driver spun again soon after a restart following the accident involving Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and George Russell in his Williams, culminating in him finishing 11th, 67 seconds behind race-winning team-mate Verstappen.

Ahead of this weekend's race in Portimão, Perez said: "I was very pleased with my progression after qualifying on the front row at Imola.

"I think I even surprised myself to be that quick in only my second race weekend at Red Bull, and to be able to extract the maximum from the car in such a short amount of time.

"Looking back at it, I think being able to adapt to such a different car and driving style definitely gives me a big confidence boost and it showed me I can adapt well. I am starting to understand the car and that was the main positive.

"[But] Imola was a missed opportunity as I think we should have finished one-two but hopefully we can achieve that this weekend.

"In Portugal, I hope to be in the mix and get everything out of the car. We know what the car is capable of and the goal is to deliver on its potential.

"The positive is that the pace is there, we just need to continue building on our form and take another step forwards."

Following what has been a strong start to the season from Red Bull, Perez insists "motivation is sky-high" within the team as it now has "a realistic chance" of winning every race.

Despite his Saturday performance at Imola, Sunday proved Perez still simply requires "time in the car" to fully understand and get on top of it.

Perez is not alone as that has been proven by others who have swapped teams over the winter in Carlos Sainz with Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin and Daniel Ricciardo with McLaren.

"Obviously the more work you put in, the more you get out, so I analyse, I make notes, I speak to the engineers and I watch back footage," added Perez.

"Everything you do just helps get you as ready as possible. You can see with everyone that has changed teams this year, it takes time to get up to speed.

"Everyone is good, everyone is exceptionally fast, it’s just a process you need to go through before everything comes to you naturally and hopefully we can achieve that in the opening races of the season."


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