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Perez rues bad luck with Safety Car in China after missing out on P2 as he vows to fight back in Miami

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SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 21: Third placed Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing attends

Sergio Perez was disappointed to deny Red Bull a one-two finish in the Chinese Grand Prix, with the Mexican losing places during the Safety Car periods before ultimately crossing the line in P3.

It had been a tough start to the race for Perez after he was overtaken by Fernando Alonso for second place into Turn 1. While he went on to retake the position, he again lost out when a Virtual Safety Car – which then became a full Safety Car – was called midway through the event to recover the stricken Kick Sauber of Valtteri Bottas, which had suffered a mechanical issue.

READ MORE: Verstappen charges to victory over Norris and Perez in action-packed Chinese GP

This time it was Lando Norris who got himself ahead of Perez, while Charles Leclerc was also running in front of the Red Bull. Perez then faced a tough battle with the Ferrari before eventually finding a way past on Lap 39, putting him up into the final podium position.

Asked after the race if the strategy had been where he had lost out, Perez responded: “Yeah, it really cost us quite a bit. Unfortunately [with the] Safety Car we lost two places.

2024 Chinese Grand Prix: Alonso jumps Perez for P2 as Verstappen leads away at the race start

“We did most of the race on the hard [tyre], once you’re fighting like that in the early laps then the life of the tyres just goes off dramatically. At least we managed to get onto the podium, but it would have been good [to be] one and two.”

As well as missing out during the Safety Car phases, Perez also acknowledged that his race pace was not as strong as he might have hoped.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from the Chinese Grand Prix as Verstappen takes victory while Safety Car sparks dramatic restart

“I think we were definitely lacking some pace, especially on the medium compound, we did struggle quite a bit with the balance,” he explained.

“We changed a lot from yesterday to today, so I think we didn’t read the conditions as perfectly as we could, but overall I think it was a strong weekend and we understand the reasons why today the race pace was a little bit down.”

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 21: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull

Perez ended the Chinese Grand Prix in third place, denying Red Bull a one-two result after Verstappen's victory

Despite his struggles at the Shanghai International Circuit, Perez remains hopeful that he can pose more of a challenge to team mate Max Verstappen next time out when the Miami Grand Prix returns from May 3-5.

Asked if he would still be pushing for a win at the next race weekend, the 34-year-old said: “Yeah, that will be the target.”

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the Chinese Grand Prix action as Verstappen takes victory

Perez currently sits in P2 of the drivers’ championship on 85 points, 25 points behind Verstappen at the top.

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