Sergio Perez predicts struggling Ferrari ‘will come back strong’ at Zandvoort

Sam Cooper
Two Red Bulls and a Ferrari in parc ferme as the podium finishers. Monaco May 2022

Sergio Perez has predicted Ferrari will be back amongst the race contenders at Zandvoort despite a poor showing in Belgium.

Ferrari looked off the pace from the get go with Charles Leclerc failing to make the same ground from the back of the pack that Max Verstappen did and then Carlos Sainz, who started the race P1, was easily overtaken by the charging Red Bull.

It marked the third race in a row that a Ferrari driver has not stood on the very top step of the podium and their chances in both the Drivers’ and the Constructors’ Championship are slipping away.

Perez also looked a cut above everyone bar Verstappen and finished nine seconds ahead of Sainz. The Mexican however predicted that trend may not continue next time out at the Dutch Grand Prix.

“I think they will be back strong in Zandvoort,” he told Sky Sports F1 after the race. “As you know this is a very unique place with a lot of straights around this place, where we are gaining a lot of lap time on them. So Zandvoort will be quite different.”

Sainz echoed this thought in his comments, describing their time at Spa as a “one-off.”

“I think it’s a one-off. I think they just had a super-strong weekend,” the Ferrari driver said.

“We had a bit of a weaker one on a track that probably didn’t suit us a lot. So we need to analyse why and take some some conclusions, but on our race we did everything we could do today but we were just not fast enough.

“I think at Zandvoort we can be back on form and beat Red Bull again. I’m not particularly worried about that. I think we just had a bit of a difficult weekend and this track was perfectly suited to Red Bull.

“I think Zandvoort is a better hunting ground for us and we should be stronger there. It doesn’t mean we should beat Red Bull or comfortably beat them, but get back in the fight? I am convinced we should.”

Despite being in the same car, Perez was unable to keep pace with his team-mate and did admit that Verstappen was “on another level.”

“I think Max today was on another level,” the 32-year-old said. “Especially that first stint, for me it was quite bad on the medium in terms of deg. Max was a a lot faster in that regard.”