Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez has candidly admitted that the team made a strategic error during the Sprint Shootout, leaving him starting the race from the eighth position on the grid.
Despite showing improvements over his Friday qualifying performance, Perez faces a challenging task to secure points in the upcoming 19-lap race at the Lusail International Circuit, where his teammate Max Verstappen only requires a sixth-place finish to secure his third consecutive World Championship.
Analysing his session, Perez acknowledged the struggles he encountered, stating, “It was going well on the Medium, but as soon as we went on the Soft, we didn’t have the right strategy, and we had the tires in a very bad state.
“We actually went slower with the Soft tire, so not good at all, we should have been a lot better but unfortunately, we screwed up a bit.”
Perez’s recent focus has shifted towards defending his position against Lewis Hamilton in the battle for second place in the Drivers’ title race.
Hamilton, a Mercedes driver, faced his own difficulties and missed out on reaching SQ3, providing Perez with an opportunity to extend his lead in the standings.
Commenting on his prospects for the Sprint race, Perez highlighted the challenges of overtaking on the Lusail circuit due to track conditions, saying, “If we are able to get some points, that will be good enough because I do expect overtaking to be very difficult, especially with the track conditions.”
In the Sprint race, Perez’s weekend went from bad to worse, as he ended in the gravel, finding himself out of the points due to another DNF.
The string of bad luck suffered by Perez keeps speculation about his future at the team in doubt, with Liam Lawson, Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda waiting in the wings.
While Red Bull has refused to entertain questions about Perez’s future, it is becoming increasingly hard for the team to justify his position.