Perez Anticipates McLaren’s Challenge at Emilia Romagna GP

Sergio Perez has addressed the potential challenge that McLaren could pose to an improved Red Bull team at Imola. Perez expressed his belief that McLaren could indeed threaten Red Bull’s dominance at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, despite the recent upgrades to the Red Bull machinery.

During the previous race in Miami, Lando Norris secured victory over Max Verstappen following a safety car period.

McLaren introduced significant upgrades to its MCL38 during this event, and with Imola being a track more favorable to their car’s characteristics than Miami, their performance is anticipated to be even stronger.

In response to Red Bull’s plans to introduce upgrades to their RB20 for the upcoming race weekend, Perez downplayed the potential impact of these enhancements.

He emphasized that McLaren would likely remain a close contender, stating, “We are going to have the same upgrades [on both cars],” in discussions with the media.

“We don’t expect a huge upgrade from our side, so what is more important is to maximize the balance of the car for low-fuel and high-fuel but I think the upgrades we have are less significant here.

“I don’t see any reason why McLaren can’t challenge. I believe that they will be very strong, Ferrari will be very strong and the pressure is on for all those teams to deliver weekend after weekend.

“If you are able to deliver on a weekend another team doesn’t, then the swing around will be huge.”

In Miami, Red Bull faced challenges on race day in contrast to their performance during qualifying and the sprint race, with Sergio Perez highlighting the team’s incomplete understanding of the situation heading into the grand Prix.

Perez noted, “McLaren was the fastest team in Miami, and Ferrari was very strong as well, but I think we didn’t maximize our package as well – we could have been stronger.

“I believe that was the same for everyone, but we came away with the most points from the weekend, but we expect the pack to be closer so it is great for the sport and to have all the teams fighting at the front.

“The sprint doesn’t give you a full picture, it is very different to do the race with 30 kilos of fuel than to do it with more than 100kg. 

“We went into the race and were sliding quite a lot more than we wanted to and we know what we lacked. I’ve been on the simulator already, and there will be big improvements.”