Sergio Perez expects Ferrari, Mercedes to be in the mix at Zandvoort

Jamie Woodhouse
Belgian Grand Prix race start. Spa-Francorchamps, August 2022. F1 2023

Belgian Grand Prix race start. Spa-Francorchamps, August 2022.

Sergio Perez expects Ferrari and Mercedes to be a threat to Red Bull once more around Zandvoort during the Dutch Grand Prix.

It was a story of Red Bull domination in Belgium, at least from one side of the garage, as Max Verstappen found a different level to leave the chasing pack behind.

Qualifying over six tenths faster than his nearest rival, that being Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari, Verstappen dropped to P14 on the grid due to a power unit change, yet still won the Belgian GP almost 18 seconds ahead of Perez.

After struggling in qualifying, Mercedes’ George Russell took the fight to Ferrari come race day, but both teams were unable to lay a glove on Red Bull.



Perez though anticipates that situation will change for the Dutch Grand Prix at Circuit Zandvoort, believing Red Bull’s Spa dominance was specific to that track.

Asked for his thoughts on Red Bull’s pace at Spa, Perez replied: “Yeah, well, I think they got the car was certainly the fastest today.

“And especially Max was very impressive. The whole weekend, especially come the race, he was just on another level today. So that’s great to have, but I think it’s very track specific. I think when we are back to Zandvoort we will have the Ferraris and Mercedes back into contention.”

With Zandvoort representing part two of Formula 1’s triple-header, Verstappen was asked when the focus will switch from revelling in the successes of Spa to his home race.

Verstappen explained though that he already had put the preparation in for Zandvoort on the simulator.

“To be honest, I already prepared Zandvoort,” said Verstappen after the Belgian GP. “I am of course enjoying today but then I go home and I don’t really think about F1 too much.

“And then I jump on the plane on Thursday morning, I think, and then I’ll think about Zandvoort, and then I’ll drive Zandvoort and try to do the best I can.

“But yeah, for the moment, I did all my work already to prepare in the best way possible on the simulator, what we think is right and everything felt quite decent. But again, we put the car on the track on Friday and we’ll find out.”

Verstappen’s lead in the Drivers’ Championship is now looking unassailable, the Dutchman 93 points ahead of Perez and 98 clear of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Red Bull’s lead over Ferrari at the top of the Constructors’ Championship stands at 118 points heading into the Dutch Grand Prix.