RACE DEBRIEF

    On his return from F1’s summer break, Sergio Perez said he was delighted to have had any question marks over his future resolved, as Red Bull announced on Friday at the Belgian Grand Prix that the Mexican would continue to partner Max Verstappen in 2022.

    That move will see Red Bull start consecutive seasons with the same driver line-up for the first time since 2018 – with Perez telling the media after finishing Friday practice at Spa that he was pleased the announcement had come relatively early in the season, allowing him to focus on the job in hand.

    “It’s good to waste zero energy on that,” said Perez, “knowing what I’m doing next year and just focus on this season.”

    ANALYSIS: Why Red Bull kept Perez for 2022 – and what it means for Gasly and Albon

    Despite the good news, it was a slow start to the Belgian Grand Prix weekend for Perez, who finished Free Practice 1 in P6 and FP2 in P10 – ending up 0.932s down on team mate and session leader Verstappen in FP2, before the Dutchman crashed at Malmedy, ending second practice early.

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    Perez was happy to have question marks over his future answered

    But with Red Bull having experimented with different set-ups on their two cars on Friday, Perez was bullish about his and the team’s chances for the rest of the weekend once the engineers had sifted through the data on Friday evening.

    READ MORE: ‘A very positive start’ – Verstappen shrugs off heavy FP2 shunt after finishing Friday fastest at Spa

    “I think the car is feeling is good – I think we have good potential for the weekend,” said Perez, who’s failed to score in the previous two rounds. “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with the weather tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to it. I think we should be able to have a good qualifying session.

    “We got plenty of good information from today and we just have to pick up the best bits for tomorrow and make sure we are able to have a strong quali,” he added. “We’ve got some good pace out there and it’s going to be interesting to see tomorrow, when everyone puts it together, where we’re at.”