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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Perez will treat Hamilton ‘like any other rival’ in F1 Turkish GP

Hamilton will be looking to force his way up the order with an engine penalty demoting him to 11th on the grid after setting the fastest time in qualifying at Istanbul Park

The seven-time world champion is bracing himself for a “difficult” fightback, and it could be made harder when he finds himself behind Perez, who Red Bull will be hoping can halt Hamilton for as long as possible to boost Max Verstappen’s chances. 

“I really hope that Lewis doesn’t get me and I make enough progress early on in the race that I am able to be with the leaders, that would be good for me,” said Perez, who will start sixth after a poor qualifying in Turkey. 

“I will treat Lewis as any other rival out there. I want to do the best possible job for myself and I will not make it easy for anyone.” 

Perez blamed the decision to use an extra set of soft tyres in Q1 for finishing over eight-tenths slower than Hamilton in P7 but insisted he was happy with his performance in general across the weekend. 

“I am very happy with the way I improved the performance over the weekend,” he said. “I think we’ve shown at times a very good pace. 

“It was just, I think, that final run in Q3 on the new tyres was a bit unfortunate because obviously we only had one set available for us in Q3 and I didn’t improve anything.

“I picked up quite a bit of rear grip and went into a lot of understeer and that made things quite a lot harder and given how small the gaps are around here, it made the difference.” 

Earlier this weekend, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner issued a rallying cry for Perez to turnaround his form after scoring just 16 points across the last six races, matching the haul managed by Williams driver George Williams. 

With Red Bull falling 33 points adrift of title rivals Mercedes in the constructors’ championship, Horner stressed the team “desperately need” the Mexican to start scoring some strong results. 

Source

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