Checo Pérez misses a golden opportunity at the Australian Grand Prix | Formula 1 | Sports

The entire Formula 1 grid expects a mistake from the three-time champion in each race. And when the moment falls, the fight is frantic to fight for the lead. That is the moment for Checo Pérez to raise his head and show his expertise. But in Australia it couldn’t be. Neither in qualifying, nor in Max Verstappen’s abandonment in the first three laps. The Mexican was stuck in fifth position. The victory went to a successful Carlos Sainz, followed by Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris.

Pérez had to start from that sixth position that kept him from fighting for the lead, from covering Verstappen’s back. The penalty during qualifying was debated because, according to the track marshals, the Mexican made the road difficult for Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg. Pérez made a mistake at the start when he was overtaken by George Russell’s car. The one from Guadalajara had a hard time fighting to come back, nor did Verstappen’s surprise fall help him to be able to get among the first places. Later in the race another champion, Lewis Hamilton, also had to abandon the race.

The Mexican suffered so much that, at times, he was eighth. It was not a comfortable career for him. From the Red Bull trenches they only saw the great performance of the Ferrari and McLaren. Despite that, the power of the red buffalo surprised Russell, who summed it up in one sentence: “That car is like a rocket.” But that could do little to help Checo Pérez, who had problems overcoming Fernando Alonso and then defending himself against him. There was no safety car that could help him, except for the brutal crash that Russell had on the last lap that did not alter the final order of the drivers. Pérez was more than 20 seconds behind Oscar Piastri.

“It wasn’t our best race. “We are sorry,” Christian Horner, head of Red Bull, told the Mexican. The opportunity to redeem himself will be on Saturday, April 6 in Suzuka, Japan. Pérez has obtained two second places in the current season, but Sainz’s victory complicates his fight for the runner-up spot.

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