Perez puzzled after unexplained Red Bull slump

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Sergio Perez was left unsure as to the cause of a slump in performance from his Red Bull after qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

After what he described as a promising Thursday practice, the Mexican managed to grab third place on the grid for the race, but felt performance was lacking from his RB20 as team-mate Max Verstappen earned pole position.

Third extends Perez’s run of not qualifying on the front-row of the grid to 20 races since pole in Miami, with the defending race-winner keen to uncover the reasons behind the sudden slump.

“I think the whole day has not been as good as yesterday, and somehow we took a step back from what we were doing [on Thursday],” Perez told media including RacingNews365.

“It is something that we have to understand [especially for the race], and I hope that what we’ve done [for the race], we will be in a better position come the race and be able to have a stronger race.

“[Thursday] was a very strong day, very positive and over one lap, things were going in the right direction.

“But we took a step back somehow, and I don’t know if anything changed on the track or in our prep, but it is certainly something to review and then try to come to the bottom of it.

“[Beating Leclerc] will be a challenge, and racing here it is all about race pace and degradation.

“It is a track where you can overtake, it is a place where you can race.”

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