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Formula 1

Marko: Perez “threw away” Belgium pole

SPA, BELGIUM - AUGUST 27: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 27, 2022 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes that Sergio Perez should have taken pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Perez ended Saturday’s qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps 3rd but will start the race 2nd after Max Verstappen’s grid penalty. The Mexican had an opportunity to get ahead of Carlos Sainz as the latter had not made an improvement in his final Q3 attempt. However, Perez did not manage to do it.

“We have a much higher top speed, but Checo threw it away in sector two. In sector one he was clearly faster despite Ferrari’s slipstream,” Marko commented on Perez’s performance on Servus TV.

At the same time, Marko thinks that Perez is in contention for a race win on Sunday.

“He can definitely win. We expected Mercedes to be better here, while Ferrari is of a similar level to us as usual.”

Marko also praised Verstappen’s performance in qualifying: “That was an incredible lap! Nowhere did you see any uncertainty.

“We didn’t even need a second run, so we have two new sets of Soft tires for the race! The Soft tires can in fact be decisive during the Grand Prix in the event of a Safety Car.

“When you see how much faster Verstappen is, it won’t take long [to be in contention]. Moreover, experience shows that we are even stronger with a full tank of fuel.

“Max is in great form, supreme, and has a lot of self-confidence. It’s going to be very difficult for the rest.”

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