Perez thought P8 was the best we could get at F1 Imola GP

Max Verstappen, the teammate of Red Bull, won the Formula 1 Imola Grand Prix, while Sergio Perez said eighth place was "the best we could get".

(Motorsports news) The Mexican was eliminated in the second qualifying round after finishing 0.015 seconds slower than Daniel Ricciardo on his reserve car. He had not been in the top 10.

In an attempt to capitalize on any potential virtual or actual safety car intervention, Perez began the race on hard tires. However, the entire race was completed without any incidents.

In what he described as “just a very tough race,” Perez managed to finish seventh, 55 seconds behind teammate Verstappen, despite outperforming both RB cars and Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas.

We were aware that was the best outcome we could hope for. The Red Bull driver clarified, “We were hoping for a safety car at the right point, that potentially could put us back in the fight. We obviously knew the hard was going to be difficult initially.”

The ideal time to deploy a safety car would have been on lap 28, once all of the drivers in front of Perez had stopped, but even then, he was only in fifth place, around 15 seconds behind leader Verstappen.

On lap 17, Perez lost almost five seconds due to a lock-up that resulted in an excursion in the Rivazza gravel trap. He said, “I also took some damage.”

In addition, Perez struggled to hold onto his first position on the hard compound as he was passed by Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri, Carlos Sainz, and George Russell on their newer tires. His pace never picked up; he used to frequently lap in 1:21:21, but he never did until he pitted.

“I wanted to lose as little time as possible [when being overtaken],” he said. “Unfortunately, at the same time, you are at the end of your stint, temperatures are dropping, and the grip is just very miserable at that point.”

Despite Verstappen’s pole position and win, Red Bull had a difficult weekend in Imola as they were unable to settle on the ideal setup throughout free practice.

Although Perez cautioned that McLaren and Ferrari “have done a step forward” in preparation for this coming weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, he acknowledged that the lack of performance on the Italian track was “a bit circuit-specific”.

“We expect a very strong McLaren, Ferrari, so it will be a strong challenge out there,” he said.

Also read: Ferrari announces ex-Mercedes F1 men D’ambrosio’s arrivement, Serra


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