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“I will turn this around,” says under-pressure Perez

A defiant Sergio Perez says he will turn his Formula 1 season around after suffering another blow in British Grand Prix qualifying.

In the opening stages of a wet qualifying session, Perez slipped off the road at Copse and got stuck in the gravel trap, ending his session in 19th.

It’s the latest blow for Perez amid a downturn in form that has seen the Mexican score just 15 points since Imola, compared to 101 for team-mate Max Verstappen. Silverstone was the fourth event in six races in which Perez failed to progress to the Q3 shootout.

That has reignited the debate on whether the 34-year-old is the right person to help Red Bull retain its constructors’ title against ever-fiercer opposition.

Perez recently signed a 2026 contract extension that is understood to include a spate of performance clauses. The team is acutely aware its second car must pick up performance and has mulled over a plan B if Perez can’t get his act together.

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But while disappointed with his qualifying mistake, Perez remains bullish that he can return to his early 2024 form, batting away questions over his future.

When asked if his qualifying mistake came at the worst possible time given the pressure that is building, Perez said: “No, no, no. I’m fully focused on my job.

“I’m fully focused on getting the performance out of myself, the form that I know where I can be.

“I’ve been in this business for long enough so I exactly know what to do and how to turn things around.

“I will not give up. I will turn this one around.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Erik Junius

Perez is adamant that his continuing dip in form doesn’t affect his Red Bull future after signing his new deal.

“Like I said, I have a contract with the team and I will turn things around,” he added.

“It’s not something that distracts me or anything like that. It’s done and dusted. I just want to get back to my form, and focus on the important things.”

Perez took the blame for his spin at Turn 9, having been one of the first drivers to bolt on slicks as the track started drying up.

Behind him, Daniel Ricciardo also went off but kept out of the gravel, while team-mate Verstappen’s excursion through the same gravel trap left him with floor damage that prevented the Dutchman from challenging for pole.

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“It was very frustrating,” said Perez. “Turn 9 was really tricky, very difficult, especially in the beginning.

“As I was trying to warm up the tyres, when I downshifted I basically lost the rear end quite badly and I went out of the track. I had cold tyres and it’s full of standing water outside of the track, so I just ended up going into the gravel.

“I couldn’t stop the car, I couldn’t go straight. A few people went off, it clearly was a tricky corner. But anyway, I put my hand up, because I f*cked up today.”

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