Should have been Red Bull 1-2 at Imola, says Perez

Henry Valantine
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Sergio Perez admits Red Bull should have finished 1-2 at Imola, but he hopes to put in a better performance at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

After an impressive qualifying session saw the Mexican qualify on the front row for the first time in his career, he was jumped at the start by team-mate Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, then had a torrid time in the race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

He received a hefty penalty after going off behind the Safety Car on a greasy surface at Imola, then quickly driving back to his original position illegally.

Having got himself back up to P4, he then spun at the Villeneuve Chicane and finished outside the points. Team principal Christian Horner has thrown his support behind the Mexican, and Perez says he has been putting in the work to make sure he can match up to the potential of the car at Portimao this weekend.

“The way we work at Red Bull, we prepare our race weekend to take the maximum from it because we know if we do everything right we have a realistic chance of winning the race,” Perez said in a Red Bull Q&A, per RacingNews365.

“Everyone in the team is also pushing really hard to try to improve the RB16B so we can maximise every single weekend with both cars – that’s the target.

“Imola was a missed opportunity as I think we should have finished 1-2 but hopefully we can achieve that this weekend.”

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Formula 1’s trip to Portimao represents a fresh opportunity for Perez to get properly up and running with his new team. Having been knocked out in Q2 in the season opener in Bahrain, he recovered to a solid P5 finish before his troubles at Imola.

Having won his first-ever race at Sakhir last year, Perez aims to get back to form and produce performances of which he knows he is capable for the Milton Keynes-based outfit.

He added: “Imola is a pretty tough track to get on top of and maximise, especially if you’ve recently swapped teams, but 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.”

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