“It is time to regroup”: Sergio Perez eager to put behind Canadian GP misery and focus on the ‘long F1 season’ ahead

F1 Grand Prix of Canada - Final Practice
Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing arrives into the Paddock prior to final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 08, 2024 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Sergio Perez wishes to put behind the 2024 Canadian GP result and focus on the remaining calendar ahead. Speaking to onsite media, the Red Bull Racing driver felt the mistake that retired him from the race was unfortunate as he lost control of his car.

On the first lap of the race, Sergio Perez made contact with Pierre Gasly, which pushed him down from 16th to 18th. The damage from the race compromised his pace throughout. After switching to dry tires, he surged up to P12 behind Daniel Ricciardo with enough pace to pass him. But he locked up and spun at turn 6 on lap 50 which damaged his rear wing.

Reflecting on his race, Sergio Perez reckons his pace was compromised initially due to the contact with the Alpine driver but looked better in the mid-stint. However, he felt that the mistake he made in turn 6 ended his chances of what could have been a potential finish.

The Canadian GP weekend was the third weekend in a row when the Mexican driver got knocked out of Q1. He felt driving with a car with issues made it easier to get knocked out in qualifying, where the margins were fine.

Describing his performance in the Canadian GP, Sergio Perez said:

“The first part of the race was compromised with the damage with Gasly. The second part of the race was looking a lot better. The third part of the race, but we were just stuck there, there was only one line. We couldn't get by and unfortunately that meant that in the end I was coming back and I ended up making a mistake in turn 6, which was one of the most difficult corners where a lot of drivers made mistakes.
But unfortunately, I was one of those few that said I couldn't control the car, I did a mistake. And yeah, I think it's time to regroup, put our head down. You know, there is a long season. Few races ago, we've been on form, so there is no doubt that I cannot be back to that level.”

Asked if regrouping and analyzing was a matter of confidence in the car, Sergio Perez said:

“I think just having a straight forward weekend you know. Yesterday again we had a car issue in qualifying which with these margins you can be knocked out in quali one with very small margins. So I'm just having a straight forward weekend and the pace is there, the confidence is there and I'm obviously going to take my time to analyse everything with the team and make sure we are able to come back as strong.”

Sergio Perez believes tracks up next on the calendar could be better for Red Bull

Sergio Perez believes some of the aerodynamic efficient circuits up next will be better for Red Bull, compared to the last three. The Red Bull Racing duo have struggled to perform in Imola, Monaco and Canada.

Although his teammate secured a front-row qualifying result and a win, the Mexican driver was far away from the top 15 for the majority of the weekend. He believes the competition will only get closer in the future with both Ferrari and McLaren breathing down Red Bull’s throat. However, he feels they could bounce back to leading the front runners in Spain.

Asked if the aero tracks coming up next will make him bounce back, Sergio Perez said:

“Yeah, I think definitely. There will be good tracks coming up that hopefully we can be on top form and be able to get the points.”

Asked how challenging the next year and a half will be with the competition getting closer, he replied:

“Yeah, I think the competition is definitely closer. They're getting a lot closer to us, so we just have to be perfect and make sure that we are able to put it all together.”

Asked about his expectations for Red Bull in Barcelona, Sergio Perez said:

“I think it will be a lot closer. I think Barcelona we will be there again and the rest of the year it's all going to be very close.”

Despite being retained recently by Red Bull Racing for another two seasons, Sergio Perez has not been able to celebrate the weekend as he would have wished. This is his second retirement after the Monaco race and the fourth weekend in a row where he has been outperformed by Max Verstappen by a significant margin.

To add to his miseries, he has been penalized in Canada for failing to not leave the track despite significant mechanical issues and rear wing damage. The penalty involves a three-place grid drop for the Spanish GP ahead and a 25000 Euro fine for his team.

Red Bull Racing team are introducing updates to the RB20 in Barcelona but their rivals will also be expected to upgrade their cars. In Barcelona, Sergio Perez could return to a better form but his penalty could end all the optimism going into the weekend.

The upgrades introduced in Imola are reported to have not worked on their car, one of the reasons for both drivers struggling in the last three weekends. In Canada, the former Force India driver was outperformed by his teammate and both RB drivers in qualifying and the race.

He is now in fifth place in the championship despite his teammate leading and Red Bull leading the constructors championship.

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