Checo Perez plays down gap to Max Verstappen ahead of Italian GP

Sergio Perez said that the gap to teammate Max Verstappen isn’t representative of normal conditions.

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Sergio Perez said that the interchangeable conditions explained much of the qualifying gap between himself and his teammate, Max Verstappen, at the Dutch Grand Prix.

The Mexican came under scrutiny following qualifying in Zandvoort as his best lap was only good enough for seventh, while Verstappen took pole position in mixed conditions.

Mercedes Team Principal, Toto Wolff, even remarked surprise at the gap between the pair which stood at a huge 1.3 seconds, but Perez responded to the criticism on Thursday.

“I think it’s hard to say you know we have to look at it race by race,” Perez said to the members of the media, including Total-Motorsport.com, ahead of the 2023 Italian GP.

“At the end of the day, sometimes the gap is bigger; for example, how it was in Zandvoort.

“It was mainly getting the conditions right and exploiting everything out of the car, and the difference is if you don’t get the conditions right you will see a big delta, so it’s how it works.

“Sometimes we’ve seen with other drivers, those sorts of gaps. It’s a long season in F1 and it doesn’t really matter where we are now, it only matters where we are able to finish and then we can summarise our season in Abu Dhabi.”

Not focussed on 2024 contract yet

Perez is contracted until the end of 2024 with Red Bull, but his seat has come under lots of pressure lately due to his performances.

The driver missed five consecutive Q3 appearances earlier in the season and is reported to have racked up close $2,000,000 in crash damage, but despite the speculation, Perez not rushing to the table to get a new deal.

“There is still a year and a half to go,” Perez continued to the media, including Total-Motorsport.com. “So I think there’s no need to change anything. It’s more important now to focus on the races ahead and to finish the season on a high.

“Then we will start discussing early next year, ‘What’s what’s the plan to go forwards?’”

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