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Perez Battles Tire Woes Clinches Silver at Suzuka

Perez Battles Tire Woes, Clinches Silver at Suzuka

08/04/2024

Amidst challenging conditions and tire degradation issues, Sergio Perez navigated through adversity to claim a commendable second place at the Suzuka circuit, demonstrating resilience and skill.

Close to his teammate Max Verstappen in Saturday’s qualifying, Sergio Perez was never able to challenge his team leader during Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, yet he still delivered what Red Bull expected by securing second place, his third podium in four races this season. Nevertheless, the Mexican harbors some regrets.

“Everything started off very well with qualifying and we had a good start to the race. Unfortunately, we were caught off guard by the temperature rise and I think that with the balance, we couldn’t manage the situation in the first stint, meaning tire degradation was a bit higher and with Lando (Norris) having two sets of hard tires, it compromised our race more than I would have liked. And I think by the time we got to the third stint, things were much better.”

Perez also made a mark with two impressive overtakes on the Mercedes F1 cars, both times at the legendary 130R turn.

“Yes, it turned out to happen at the same spot. Spending time behind one of the slower cars, given their degradation, was quite penalizing. So, I made my move. And it happened at 130R both times.”

The Red Bull driver also had a scare when he went slightly wide at the Degner 2 turn early in the race, at a time when he was still close to Verstappen.

“Yes, it was quite a tricky corner to handle. Many drivers had the same issue. I went over the curb and just hoped not to have any damage because it’s so easy with these floors. As far as I know, we didn’t have any. I just underestimated it and went over the curb. Once you’re on it, it’s over. You just have to let the car roll over. But, yes, I obviously put a lot of dirt on my tires and it took me a lap or two to really clean them up, and I lost a few seconds because of that.”

Perez is now optimistic that his team will be very competitive again in Shanghai in two weeks.

“It’s a bit of the same type of tracks, I would say, with a lot of speed and medium speed. I think if we can be fast at Suzuka, we can be fast in a lot of other races, so it should be a good circuit for us as well.”

Perez Battles Tire Woes Clinches Silver at Suzuka

Perez Battles Tire Woes, Clinches Silver at Suzuka. Perez Battles Tire Woes, Clinches Silver at Suzuka

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