Sainz Would 'Absolutely' Win Even If Verstappen Hadn't Retired Says Perez

Sunday, 24 March 2024 at 23:40
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Sergio Perez talked to the media at Albert Park Circuit right after the third race of the season and suggested Sainz was going to win no matter what.
Nevertheless, this wouldn't have Perez already finished on the podium after starting from P5 in Bahrain, so it should have been possible for him to gradually make his way through the field.
However, after making one overtake on Fernando Alonso, Perez just couldn't catch up with Ferraris and McLarens in the top four and went in to finish the race in P5. He told Sky Sports after the race:

"As a team we just didn’t have the pace today, We didn’t have the pace throughout the weekend."

"We were struggling already from Friday, and we never got on top of the management of tires. I think we just have to understand and make sure we are able to improve."

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner told Sky Sports after the race that Perez picked up floor damage after overtaking Alonso, which caused him to lose a significant amount of downforce.
That might have been the difference in the car's performance that the Mexican driver needed to catch up with the top four. However, Checo also believes it is a problem with the setup for street circuits, which Red Bull hasn't been able to fix since last year.

"We already saw last year in a track like this, for example, Vegas, a front-limited track, Ferrari was a lot stronger than us. So we just couldn't look after the front tires."

The 34-year-old was then asked whether he believed Ferrari would have won even if his triple World Champion teammate hadn't retired, and he responded:

"Absolutely, yes. We didn't have the pace, unfortunately. I think we struggled early on."