Verstappen on pole but Perez’s ‘target is to win’

Frank Parker
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez. Saudi Arabia March 2022.

Sergio Perez walks through the paddock wearing sunglasses. Saudi Arabia March 2022.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez is aiming for victory in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after a strong performance in the sprint saw the Mexican finish in third place.

While his team-mate Max Verstappen had lost out to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the start, the Dutchman was able to reel in the leader and make a pass in the final moments of the sprint.

As a result, Verstappen will start on pole for the grand prix with Perez close behind in third place – an ideal situation for Red Bull, who are able to utilise the Mexican for any strategy battles.

However, Perez has his own agenda and has given himself the lofty target of victory for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

“My target is to win tomorrow,” said Perez, speaking to Sky F1 after the race. “We had very good pace today and ideally a one-two would be great.

“We certainly have had good pace. It was important to make up the places we lost yesterday, so being third on the grid gives us good hope for tomorrow’s race.”

After a number of red-flag stoppages, it was difficult for the Mexican to get a clean run in and Perez could only manage to qualify in seventh for the sprint.

However, the 32-year-old made up for it and was able to put the Red Bull’s grunt to good use as the lights went out.

After overtaking Alpine’s Fernando Alonso at the start, it did not take long for Perez to pick off McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Perez was able to stretch his legs and scythe past Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, and it was only a matter of time before McLaren’s Lando Norris was the Mexican’s next victim.

In the final few laps, Perez was able to eat into the leading pair’s advantage, finishing less than two seconds behind Leclerc and less than five seconds behind his team-mate.


Perez believes Red Bull have pace in hand and after his disappointing showing in qualifying, can use their good result from the sprint to aim higher.

“I think we had the pace to be up there but we also had the pace all weekend,” Perez continued. “But we didn’t put it together when it mattered with all those red flags. Now I think we are in pretty good condition and we should be strong.”


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