Verstappen’s Brake Woes Pave the Way for Sainz, Perez Highlights Ferrari’s Dominance at F1 Australian GP

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Perez: Sainz would have “absolutely” won F1 Australian GP against Verstappen

The Melbourne race kicked off with Polesitter Verstappen encountering a brake issue right from the start. Despite his initial lead, the problem caused him to relinquish the top spot to Sainz on lap 2. By lap 4, Verstappen’s right rear brake succumbed completely, forcing him into an early retirement from the race.

While Verstappen’s misfortune grabbed headlines, Ferrari’s impressive performance, particularly in managing front tyre wear, stood out. This aspect, which had shown promise during practice sessions, led Perez to speculate that Sainz would have outpaced Verstappen regardless of the latter’s brake troubles.

When questioned by Sky Sports F1, Perez affirmed this belief, stating, “Absolutely.” He attributed Ferrari’s success not only to Verstappen’s issues but also to their superior pace throughout the weekend. Perez acknowledged his team’s struggles, noting their difficulty in optimizing tyre management since Friday.

F1 Australian GP Race
F1 Australian GP Race (Credits: Pit Debrief)

Despite starting sixth due to a grid penalty incurred for impeding during qualifying, Perez faced further challenges during the race. He found himself stuck behind George Russell’s faltering Mercedes at the beginning, consuming precious tyre life in the process.

Despite his efforts, he couldn’t make significant progress, ending up fifth. Perez lamented the lost opportunity, citing the inability to pass Russell early on as a critical setback.

Reflecting on the disappointing outcome, Perez acknowledged the need for improvement, recognizing the weaknesses exposed at circuits like Albert Park, where front tyre demands pose a challenge for his team. Looking ahead, Perez emphasized the necessity of addressing these issues to fare better in upcoming races.

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