Sergio Perez had one more rollercoaster season-opening race at Bahrain GP final weekend preventing his approach by way of the pack and ending up in P5 behind McLaren driver, Lando Norris.
And a lot of the viewers would reckon that his race reminded them of his stellar displaying at Sakhir GP final season, the place he gained the race from final on the grid.
However, this time round, he may handle solely 10 factors, which was nonetheless a good sufficient place, contemplating the Mexican continues to be coming in phrases with the tough Red Bull automotive. And his struggles with the automotive have been fairly evident over the qualifying session.
What did Lando Norris say?
As reported by RaceFans, Norris claimed that Perez had minor issues together with his automotive throughout qualifying. Amid such points, he managed to submit a mistake-free flying lap and nonetheless did not qualify into Q3, relatively lining up P11 on the grid.
Hence, the McLaren driver felt that Perez might have jumped up a couple of locations if not for the issues, however by no means would have had the tempo to beat his Mercedes-powered automotive.
“We still finished ahead of Perez, although he had a few problems. And maybe he would have been a little bit further up,” he stated.
“But we qualified ahead of him more because he didn’t make any big mistakes. He just couldn’t put it together.”
Perez suffered an engine shutdown in the course of the warm-up lap, and it regarded like his race may very well be over even earlier than it began.
Thankfully, his automotive fired up simply in time, as he began the race from the pit lane. From there on, he but once more discovered his approach by way of the grid into the highest 5.
However, Norris was only a bit too far, as Perez ended up P5, simply over 5 seconds shy off the Briton.
Not miles away from Mercedes and Red Bull: Norris
By the time Norris noticed the checkered flag, he was simply 9 seconds away from the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas. Hence, the Briton opined that McLaren are a lot nearer to Mercedes and Red Bull this season after enjoying the function of a mid-field workforce for some time now.
“We’re close. We’re not miles away from Mercedes and Red Bull comparing to last season. I think we’ve closed the gap quite a bit and hopefully, at some tracks, we can close even more. It’s good,” he stated.
Of course, Norris did evade the potential menace from AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, who regarded fairly pacy by way of the weekend. Hence, there’s a a lot larger problem heading McLaren’s approach over the weekend in Imola.
Can they soar previous the obstacles and keep their profitable run on the Emilia Romagna GP as effectively?
Also Read: Bahrain GP: Sergio Perez Explains Pace Deficit to Red Bull Teammate Verstappen