Perez confident of bouncing back in Austria - and he needs to
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By Robert Hansford profile image Robert Hansford
3 min read

Perez confident of bouncing back in Austria - and he needs to

The Red Bull driver cannot afford another disappointing grand prix weekend

Sergio Perez is confident that he can have a more successful Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix, after having a tough weekend last time out in Spain.

The Red Bull driver once again struggled to find anywhere near the same kind of pace as his team-mate Max Verstappen over the entire duration of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, only managing to qualify eighth for Sunday’s race, while Verstappen ended up second fastest.

A three-place grid penalty compounded matters further for Perez, but even with what is conceived to be the fastest car on the F1 grid, Perez still failed to carve his way up the order when the race got underway. In the end Perez finished the race in eighth place, nearly a full minute behind Verstappen who went on to win.

Sergio Perez in the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix

But coming into this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, Perez believes he knows where improvements can be made, and is confident of a stronger race weekend.

“I had a difficult weekend in Spain but it’s one we have learnt from,” said Perez.

“I struggled with the balance of the car all weekend. We couldn’t get the set-up consistent and in a window for qualifying or to race the race we wanted, the grid place penalty also harmed us.

“This weekend in Austria we have everything in place to have a cleaner weekend, the team and I know where we must improve and make changes and we will implement them.

“It’s then my job to get the most out of the car, we’ll have limited running due to the Sprint weekend, so I need to make the most of first practice and attack qualifying and the Sprint from the start.

“We want and need a complete weekend.”

Why its vital Perez has a strong race weekend

Sergio Perez and Christian Horner in conversation

The 2024 F1 season has been difficult for Perez to say the least. He’s not been at one with the car all year and it's shown. And given his performances since he renewed his contract with Red Bull, many have been wondering whether the team made the right decision at all.

He’s had two retirements in the last three races and in Spain he was stuck in no man’s land unable to make any tangible progress.

Perez might believe that he’s got a handle on where things went wrong last weekend and that it can be rectified for Austria, but he now has to prove it on track.

With Red Bull’s rivals closing the gap - and fast - the team can ill afford for him to be languishing at the bottom half of the top 10 anymore. It needs him to be there taking points off the likes of Lando Norris.

The Austrian Grand Prix can be the springboard for Norris to bring his F1 title challenge to life
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And if he can’t do that in Austria questions have to be asked about whether he is capable of doing it at all anymore, especially because he’s failed to find the podium in what should be the dominant car since the Chinese Grand Prix in April.

Question marks are already hanging over Perez’s head and unusually, Red Bull have been very compliant in allowing these poor results to go on. But with the competition heating up, the pressure on Perez must increase. And if he can't, Red Bull would be fully justified by drafting in someone else. After all, given Perez’s current form, what would they have to lose?

By Robert Hansford profile image Robert Hansford
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