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SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 21: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing, Third placed Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing and Oracle Red Bull Racing Head of Car Engineering Paul Monaghan celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 21, 2024 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

What happened to Perez in China? Why no Red Bull one-two?

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 21: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing, Third placed Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing and Oracle Red Bull Racing Head of Car Engineering Paul Monaghan celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 21, 2024 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Formula 1’s rollercoaster of emotions was one of disappointment at the Chinese Grand Prix for Sergio Perez, driving for Red Bull qualified P2 for the race, but in the end had to settle for P3.

On Sunday, Perez was expected to do the same in the race, namely follow a dominant Max Verstappen home. Such is the dominance of Red Bull, anything less would be a disappointment for the F1 World Champions.

From the outset, Sergio Perez showed great promise at the Chinese Grand Prix, putting in a strong performance that hinted at a potential podium finish. He was undeniably one of the strongest competitors – some people even speculated that he stood a shot at becoming the victor.

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However, as the race progressed, the Mexican veteran encountered a series of setbacks that ultimately dashed his hopes of securing a higher position on the podium.

One of the key issues that contributed to Perez’s frustration was tire wear, a common challenge faced by drivers on the Shanghai International Circuit. Despite managing the tire degradation reasonably well, Perez struggled to maintain his pace and position as the race unfolded.

 The Turning Point

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 21: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 leads Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes during the F1 Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 21, 2024 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

As the race entered its final stages, it seemed like Sergio Perez was on track to secure a second-place finish behind his teammate Max Verstappen. However, a twist of fate in the form of a safety car period changed the course of events.

Forced to make an unplanned pit stop due to the safety car, Perez lost valuable time and positions, ultimately finishing third instead of second. This strategic complication proved to be a turning point in the race for Perez, leaving him feeling frustrated and disappointed despite his podium finish.

Going in as one of the favourites for people betting on racing events with 10bet in South Africa, it goes without saying that Perez’s frustration was warranted. Not placing as well as you would like after months of training is enough of a blow, let alone being caused by things out of his control.

These things happen in the world of F1, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with when they happen.

In the aftermath of the Chinese Grand Prix, Perez didn’t mince words when addressing his feelings of frustration and disappointment following the race: “Unfortunately, we got the Safety Car and we lost two places. And yeah, effectively that became the race…

“We did the most of the race on the Hard. And yeah, once you start fighting like that, in the early laps, the life of the tyre just goes off dramatically, but at least we managed to get to the podium, but it would have been good to be one and two.

“I think we were definitely lacking some pace, especially on the Medium compound. We did struggle quite happy with the balance. We changed a lot from yesterday to today.

“So I think, yeah, 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,” added Perez.

Moving Forward

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 21: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing and Third placed Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrate in parc ferme after the F1 Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 21, 2024 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Despite the disappointment, Perez remains a resilient and determined competitor poised to bounce back from setbacks and continue his pursuit of success in Formula 1 racing. While the race may have been challenging, it goes without saying that every athlete experiences highs and lows throughout their career.

For Perez, this setback may serve as motivation to push harder and strive for excellence in future events and tournaments.

Perez’s track record demonstrates his ability to overcome adversity and emerge stronger from challenging situations. With the support of his team at Red Bull Racing and his unwavering determination, there is no doubt that Perez is well-equipped to tackle the remainder of the Formula 1 season with confidence and resolve.

The Chinese Grand Prix served as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of Formula 1 racing, where even the most promising performances can be derailed by unforeseen challenges. For Perez, the race was a rollercoaster of emotions, with moments of promise overshadowed by frustration and disappointment.

However, as with any setback, there are lessons to be learned and opportunities for growth. As Perez and the Red Bull Racing team reflect on the events of the Chinese Grand Prix, they will undoubtedly use the experience to inform their approach moving forward, with a renewed determination to overcome challenges and strive for success in future races.