Perez ‘backwards’ pace giving Red Bull ‘food for thought’

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Sergio Perez’s pace at the Australian has given Red Bull “food for thought” amid a difficult day for the team, according to Helmut Marko.

Max Verstappen started the race from pole position but dropped out of the event after suffering a right-rear brake issue.

The Dutchman described that his car felt as though it had a “handbrake” on throughout the opening laps before his right rear brake system gave way.

According to Marko, Verstappen could have challenged for the win, which instead went the way of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

“With Max, you saw that despite the braking problems, he was able to follow the pace in the first laps,” Marko told ServusTV.

Perez started the grand prix from sixth on the grid after being issued a three-place grid penalty for impeding Nico Hulkenberg during qualifying and crossed the line in fifth.

“Checo, however, went backwards,” Marko added. “Why? We were at times two seconds slower than the race leader.

“We need to start looking at that. Maybe the tyre pressure was too high for these conditions or we went the wrong way with the set-up because he was two seconds slower.

“We thought the problems had been solved, which was the case with Max, I think. But as I said, Checo’s race result does give us food for thought.”

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