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Perez expects Ferrari and Mercedes challenge in Singapore

Sergio Perez said he expects strong competition from both Ferrari and Mercedes at the Singapore Grand Prix

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Mexican Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez said he’s expecting Ferrari and Mercedes to be competitive at the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix, echoing Christian Horner’s prediction that the race will be tougher for Red Bull.

Max Verstappen has romped to victory in each of the last five Grand Prix, with the Dutchman now within striking distance of clinching the world championship.

In fact, such as been his dominance that he could mathematically claim the Drivers’ Championship this weekend if results go his way.

“I expect Ferrari to be very strong here they’ve been very strong in the street circuits so I expect they’ll be particularly strong around this place,” Perez told the press.

“I think also Mercedes, they’ve certainly been there in the last few races, they’re either very strong or a little bit weaker but yeah if they’re strong they’ll be in the mix for sure.”

2022 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during qualifying for the 2022 Dutch GP via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

If Verstappen scores maximum points in Singapore, then Perez will need to finish fourth or higher to stay in championship contention. He’s only managed one top-four finish in the last four races though, after a disappointing end to September’s triple-header.

Happy return

Perez was running in the top ten before an oil leak forced him to retire with ten laps to go of the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2019’s race was F1’s last visit to the track, but it makes a welcome return to the calendar in 2022 and Perez said he’s setting his sights high.

“It’s a really good run of results here, I’ve never been on the podium here so I really hope on Sunday I can get it,” Perez said.

He also cited his 2014 race, where he finished seventh after starting from 15th – his joint second-best result of that season.

“Physically it’s one of the biggest challenges of the season if not the biggest and also I think from the level of driving, so many corners, during the race it’s so important just to keep the car out of the walls,” Perez concluded.

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