Perez Aims to Overtake Verstappen in Jeddah, Highlights Importance of Passing Leclerc

Sergio Perez narrowly missed securing a front-row start by 0.016 seconds behind Charles Leclerc in qualifying, placing third, but remains optimistic about overtaking and competing in the race, especially aiming to surpass Leclerc early on, despite facing challenges with car performance and degradation.


‣ Sergio Perez narrowly missed securing a front-row start, being just 0.016 seconds slower than Charles Leclerc, which placed him third on the grid.

‣ Despite a strong performance in practice, Perez felt the team took a step back during qualifying, expressing disappointment but remained optimistic about their race position.

‣ Perez highlighted the importance of overtaking Charles Leclerc early in the race at the Saudi Arabia GP, emphasizing the advantage of Red Bull’s race pace over Ferrari, despite potential challenges with tyre degradation.

‣ Red Bull currently leads the drivers’ championship 1-2, with Verstappen ahead, following Perez’s recovery from fifth to second place in the Bahrain race weekend.

Sergio Perez just missed the mark. He was a hair’s breadth away from the front row in the second race weekend’s qualifying. With a gap of only 0.016 seconds, he trailed behind Charles Leclerc. This tiny difference landed him in third place. You could almost hear the collective sigh from the crowd. Perez, Verstappen’s right-hand man, couldn’t hide his disappointment. Being side by side with a three-time world champ on the grid? That would’ve been something.

“Would’ve been sweet, locking out that front row,” Perez mused. Despite the setback, he remained optimistic. “But hey, we’re still in a solid spot for tomorrow’s fight.” He reflected on the journey from practice to qualifying. “Thursday felt like we were on a roll. But come qualifying? Just wasn’t our day, sadly.”

Flashback to Bahrain, and you’d have seen Perez starting in fifth. Yet, he didn’t let that define his race. With remarkable speed, he clawed his way to second place. That effort didn’t just earn him points; it positioned Red Bull as the team to beat, with Verstappen leading the charge in the drivers’ championship.

Perez Eyes Victory at the Saudi Arabia GP

Perez is all geared up for the next challenge. “Getting ahead of Leclerc early on is key,” he stated, eyes on the prize. With DRS zones in play, he’s banking on making significant moves early. “Our race pace feels stronger than Ferrari’s,” he confidently claimed. But he’s not underestimating the unpredictability of tire degradation. “It’s always a gamble here. Yet, the track’s design favors the bold. Overtaking? Racing? All doable. And we’ve got a long race ahead of us.”

In essence, Perez is far from throwing in the towel. Despite the ups and downs, his sights are firmly set on outpacing Leclerc. With a mix of determination and a keen eye on strategy, he’s ready for whatever the race throws at him.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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