F1: I haven't lost it, says Sergio Perez after sprint second | Inquirer Sports

F1: I haven’t lost it, says Sergio Perez after sprint second

/ 04:39 PM July 02, 2023

Sergio Perez Red Bull F1 Formula One sprint

 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez reacts after finishing second in the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race as winner Red Bull’s Max Verstappen looks on. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Mexican Sergio Perez reminded his Formula One critics that he remains a contender after finishing second in an Austrian Grand Prix sprint on Saturday.

The Red Bull driver has failed to stand on the podium for three races in a row and on Friday qualified outside the top 10 for Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring for the fourth race in a row.

Second behind winning teammate and championship leader Max Verstappen in the 24 lap 100km race marked a definite improvement.

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“I haven’t lost it, you know, you don’t go from winning races to all of a sudden being a very bad driver,” Perez told reporters when asked how good the result was for his confidence.

Double world champion Verstappen, winner of six of eight races this season, still extended his lead over the Mexican to a whopping 70 points.

“I think people in the sport forget the amount of detail we are operating at. When you don’t have everything together, then you see a big difference,” continued Perez.

“But yes, I know that I’ve had a rough period. Many drivers have had that but it seems to be even bigger when a Red Bull driver has it.”

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Perez won two of the first four races and had been poised to take the championship lead from Verstappen in Miami in May when it all started to go wrong.

That was his last podium appearance and Verstappen has now won four races in a row with Red Bull’s run of success extending to a nine-win streak including the last round of 2022.

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Perez qualified only 15th for Sunday’s race after having laps deleted for exceeding track limits and has also been struggling with his health after reporting sick on arrival in Spielberg.

“I’m not that good. Just recovering. It’s going to be a tough race tomorrow,” said the Mexican.

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TAGS: Austrian Grand Prix, Formula One, Sergio Perez

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