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Formula 1 Spanish GP

Perez: Monaco GP “hurt” exposed wrong F1 approach

Sergio Perez says the “hurt” of his disastrous Monaco Grand Prix weekend has triggered a rethink about how he must approach Formula 1 race weekends

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

The Mexican lost major ground to Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen in the championship in Monaco last weekend, after an unnecessary crash in Q1 left him at the back of the grid.

After failing to make much progress in the race as he got caught up in incidents, he is now facing a 39-point deficit to Verstappen in the standings ahead of this weekend's Spanish GP.

Perez feels it was important for him to own up to the errors he made last weekend, and make sure he approaches things from now on with a much calmer attitude that he adopted in Monte Carlo.

Reflecting on the fallout from his Monaco troubles, Perez said: “F1 is my passion and I live for it.

“It hurts a lot because you work so hard, and it is like you've let your whole team down. So, it hurts.

“But now this is behind me. It was important for me to put my hand up, and I think every time we do a mistake that is what you have got to do: take responsibility.”

Perez says one of the biggest takeaways from what happened in Monaco was about better managing the approach to weekends – and not trying to rush things in the pursuit of beating Verstappen.

“I've learned basically that probably I should have taken things a bit easier,” he said. “Everything was too late. It was a combination of things.

“We decided last minute to go for that lap, and then we had the Alpine just in front of us which took [the attention], and we had a lot of tailwind, basically, going on in the braking.

“So in hindsight, just being next time in Monaco, in Q1, probably not taking those decisions last minute will help us as well. But on top of all, I should have done a better job at pre-empting the situation.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, is interviewed on the podium

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, is interviewed on the podium

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

With Verstappen in dominant form at the moment, Perez faces an uphill challenge if he wants to realistically challenge for the title.

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Asked why he had faith that he could still battle for the crown, he said: “Because the speed is there.

“If this [Monaco] crash happened, and I was half a second off, then I will be more concerned. But the positive thing is we have the speed to be able to swing around things.

“For now, I'm mainly focused on weekend by weekend. And I want to win this weekend. And I want to get victories.”

He added: “I've been a match for Max since the beginning of the season, in one way or another: sometimes better or worse

“It's what I believe you have to be. I think being team-mates with Max, it's probably the toughest thing you can have because he is a driver that is on the best form of all. But I do believe that it is possible to beat him.”

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