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Perez hails ‘good momentum’ after P2 in Japan amid turnaround from ‘worst weekend’ at Suzuka last year

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SUZUKA, JAPAN - APRIL 07: Second placed Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing

Sergio Perez was pleased to add to his growing points tally by taking P2 in the Japanese Grand Prix, with the Mexican confident that Red Bull can be “strong anywhere else” after their solid showing at Suzuka.

After missing out on pole position to team mate Max Verstappen in Saturday’s qualifying, Perez started the race on the front row alongside the Dutchman but couldn’t quite take the fight to him.

READ MORE: Verstappen leads home Perez for Red Bull one-two at Japanese GP after early drama

While he felt he enjoyed a stronger launch when the event was restarted – following an early red flag due to a collision between Alex Albon and Daniel Ricciardo – Perez struggled more in the opening stint before becoming more comfortable during the second. He ultimately crossed the line in P2 to help Red Bull in securing their third one-two result of 2024.

“It was a good weekend for the team,” Perez reflected after jumping out of the car. “First of all I think obviously with the start, doing that restart again it’s always difficult to keep the focus for such a long period of time.

SUZUKA, JAPAN - APRIL 07: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 on

Perez claimed his third P2 result of the season so far at the Japanese Grand Prix

“It worked alright, my second start was a little bit better but just not enough to get Max. I think we paid the price a little bit because we were a little bit off balance in that first stint, which meant we couldn’t keep it alive.

“We had to box and we were undercut by Lando [Norris], and then I had to push too much on that medium stint. But then on the hard stint I was a lot more comfortable, the pace came back but, yeah, I think I suffered a bit from that first stint a bit on balance.”

READ MORE: Verstappen overjoyed by victory comeback at Suzuka as he says race ‘couldn’t have been better’

Perez has now put himself up into second place of the drivers’ standings, 13 points behind Verstappen, while Red Bull have built a 21-point lead from Ferrari at the top of the constructors’.

SUZUKA, JAPAN - APRIL 07: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing

Perez is feeling confident after Red Bull achieved another one-two result in Japan

Having put together a solid outing at Suzuka this year – a venue where he endured a challenging weekend in 2023 – Perez is optimistic about what he and the team can go on to achieve at the next event on the calendar, the Chinese Grand Prix.

Asked if his run of points has left him feeling positive about Shanghai, Perez responded: “Yeah, definitely. I think we’re in a good momentum.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from the Japanese Grand Prix as Verstappen wins following early red flag

“If you remember here [at Suzuka] last year was probably my worst weekend, so I think, if we are strong in places like this with a lot of high-speed corners, I think we can be strong anywhere else. It’s been a good weekend.”

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