Sergio Perez: ‘It should be all very straightforward’

Red Bull faces a challenge in the Singapore Grand Prix, as Ferrari set the pace and look very strong around the Marina Bay Circuit.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has voiced his concerns about his team’s performance at the Singapore Grand Prix. 

Perez’s comments followed a challenging Friday for Red Bull, where they struggled to match the pace set by their rivals in the practice sessions.

Perez’s teammate, Max Verstappen, managed to secure the third spot in FP1. 

However, in the subsequent session, which marked the first significant test of the weekend’s competition, Red Bull faced difficulties and could only manage seventh and eighth places.

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The gap between Red Bull and Ferrari was evident, with Perez trailing the leading Ferrari of Carlos Sainz by 0.692 seconds, while Verstappen was further behind by 0.040 seconds. 

Both drivers cited issues with traction and excessive oversteer during the practice sessions, with Perez even expressing his unease over the radio, stating that he felt like he was on the verge of crashing at every braking point.

The challenges faced by Red Bull have put them on the back foot, with Ferrari and Mercedes appearing to be formidable competitors. 

Qualifying at the Marina Bay circuit is of paramount importance due to limited overtaking opportunities, making Red Bull’s quest to close the gap all the more crucial.

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Perez shared his thoughts with Sky Sports F1 after FP2, stating, “I think there’s some interesting bits going on that we need to figure out overnight hopefully. 

“We seem to be struggling quite a bit with the rear end of the car, especially in FP2, so plenty of things to look at, and hopefully we can come up with the best possible setup because we know that qualifying is very important.”

Red Bull Racing aims to extend its remarkable streak, aiming for a 16th consecutive race victory and a 25th win in the last 26 races dating back to 2022, highlighting their dominance in Formula 1 over the past two seasons. 

However, the Marina Bay circuit has historically been a challenging venue for the team, particularly for Verstappen, who has yet to secure a victory since his debut on the track in 2015.

Last year, Perez managed to secure a victory in Singapore, but Verstappen’s struggles in both qualifying and the race resulted in a seventh-place finish. 

The practice sessions on Friday saw Ferrari unexpectedly take the top two spots, establishing themselves as strong contenders heading into Saturday’s crucial qualifying session.

Ferrari’s impressive performance in Singapore came as a surprise, especially after their strong showing in the previous race at Monza. 

There, they snatched pole position from Verstappen and maintained their lead for 14 laps before finishing third and fourth.

Perez acknowledged Ferrari’s strength, saying, “We did expect the Ferrari to be very strong around here. We [are] just too far away. 

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“Hopefully tomorrow we are able to close the gap a bit more, but I do expect quite a challenge. 

“I think come Q3, it should be all very straightforward, but I don’t think we are relying on anything like that. 

“The main thing is to make sure we are able to improve the balance that so far, we are far off.”