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Perez Struggles with Tires After Leclerc Battle

Perez Struggles with Tires After Leclerc Battle

22/04/2024

Sergio Perez faced severe tire degradation after battling Charles Leclerc, ultimately costing him the chance to overtake Lando Norris in the intense finale of the China Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez continued his strong momentum in China with another podium, his fourth of the 2024 Formula 1 season. However, the Mexican driver could not secure a double for Red Bull and had to settle for third place, as the timing of the safety cars did not favor him unlike Lando Norris, whom he could never catch up to at the end of the race.

“At that point, the gap was already quite significant and given Lando’s pace during the first stint and his level of degradation, I knew it was going to be tight, but I also had to fight against Charles and that cost me afterward. You use up so much of your tires in these battles. You put so much energy into them that they never come back. It’s a circuit where degradation is quite high and I paid the price, but it was the only way for me to pass Charles because we obviously had tires of the same age and it was really hard to overtake him.”

Perez had a tricky start and saw Fernando Alonso overtake him. And by the time he passed the Aston Martin, his teammate Max Verstappen had already pulled away.

“I was obviously inside of Max and I had to stop earlier. And Fernando was on the outside. My start wasn’t very good. So yes, that means I lost the place to Fernando. And again, I had to fight to overtake him. I probably used my tires a bit too much. And that definitely set me back for the first stint. So yes, the race wasn’t easy. But I also felt like we had taken a step back with the changes we made between the Sprint and the race.”

Discussing the Sprint, it had not been easy for the Red Bull driver…

“Well, I think I was battling in the pack. Once you are in the pack, it’s hard to know what the car is doing. You know, when you have two, three cars ahead of you, you have a lot less aerodynamic load on your car, so it’s really hard to know where the balance is. That’s probably something we need to review to see the directions we took, to see what we could have done better.”

Perez Struggles with Tires After Leclerc Battle

Perez Struggles with Tires After Leclerc Battle. Perez Struggles with Tires After Leclerc Battle

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