Sergio Perez frustrated ahead of Australian GP, addresses Jos Verstappen snub

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has warned that his race in Australia has already been compromised.

GPS issues were the story of the first two free practice sessions ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, which Sergio Perez has slammed following a difficult FP2 session that he feels could hinder his race.

The problem appeared in FP1 and meant engineers from all teams were unable to see where other cars were on the track, resulting in traffic and, ultimately, the session being red-flagged.

Those GPS woes seemed to calm down in FP2, although not entirely as there were still areas of heavy traffic around the track at Albert Park. Perez wasn’t afraid to point out how damaging the GPS problems were, with his session proving to be another frustrating one.

The Red Bull driver told that the session was ‘a bit mental’ before expanding on his struggles: “I think especially going into FP2, it felt like a lot of people still had issues with their GPS data. So it was just a mess. I couldn’t get up a lap in.

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“We made some changes which seemed to be working well into sector one, sector two, but not much to say really, I think tomorrow there’s plenty to do.”

Crucially, he added, assessing the impact of the GPS issues: “Too much to do in FP3 [alone] so I think we’re going to be going a bit blind into the race, which should be interesting.”

Perez had to abort a flying lap which saw him punch in purple sectors around two thirds of the track, before suddenly having to abort the hot lap to avoid crashing into Zhou Guanyu and Fernando Alonso.

It meant he finished the second session the seventh-fastest, 1.2 seconds slower than Aston Martin’s Alonso in P1, while completing 15 laps.

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Thankfully for Christian Horner’s team, Red Bull looked fast in FP1, with Max Verstappen topping the timesheet and Perez finishing third-fastest.

The two drivers currently have a win each to their name this season, with Verstappen cruising to victory in Bahrain’s season-opener, before finishing second behind Perez in Jeddah at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after starting in 15th.

Perez made headlines after his maiden win of the 2023 season for his celebrations, where he appeared to be snubbed by Verstappen’s father Jos, who also played down his victory after the race.

Perez, however, has since insisted that the pair maintain a good relationship.