Perez Not Looking to ‘Make it Easy’ for Lewis Hamilton Amidst Potential Battle at Turkish GP

Published 10/10/2021, 3:37 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 10, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez after qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


Sergio Perez had yet another awful qualifying outing in Turkey, only managing to secure P6, behind a handful of mid-field cars. However, his starting position could come as a blessing in disguise for Red Bull amidst Max Verstappen’s intense battle with Lewis Hamilton.

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The Briton secured his 4th pole position of the season at Istanbul, only to end up watching himself drop 10 places down the order due to grid penalty. Hence, there is a huge chance that Hamilton will end up on the rear wing of Perez at some point in the race.

But, is Perez seeking to let go of the 7-time world champion? Absolutely not! The Mexican is certain of giving a hard fight against his teammate’s championship rival. Therefore, it looks like Perez is aware of how crucial his defending could be in Verstappen’s title fight.

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Perez’s view on the possible Lewis Hamilton battle

Following the qualifying session at Istanbul Park, Perez affirmed that he is hoping to stay away from Hamilton for as long as possible by making frequent moves on the slower cars ahead, including that of Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly, and Fernando Alonso.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 8, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during practice REUTERS/Murad Sezer

I hope Lewis doesn’t catch up with me, that I make enough progress early in the race to be with the leaders. That will be the key for me tomorrow,” he said according to ESPN. But, even if Hamilton does end up behind him, Perez is seeking to give the Mercedes driver a hard time.

I will treat Lewis like any other opponent. I want to do the best job possible for me. And I will not make it easy for anyone,” the Mexican added.

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Perez optimistic of Red Bull’s pace amidst early blues

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Red Bull had a shaky start to the Turkish GP weekend, with Verstappen showing massive signs of struggle with balance. Both the Red Bull drivers ended up way off the pace of the Mercedes duo in qualifying too. However, despite the concerns over the one-lap pace, Perez is looking convinced with his car’s pace in the long run.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 9, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during qualifying REUTERS/Murad Sezer

I’m optimistic. I think we have shown a good pace on Friday in the long runs. So, I hope that the changes we have made will help our race pace, so we should be able to fight forward,” he said.

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Overall, these are some morale-boosting words from Perez, and it looks like Verstappen will have enough pace to challenge Bottas for the win too. Hence, which one of the duels are you eagerly waiting for? Bottas vs Verstappen? Or, Perez vs Hamilton?

Watch Story: Lewis Hamilton’s Biggest F1 Crashes

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Rohit Kumar

1257 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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