Following the highs of winning in Saudi Arabia and proving he has the pace to compete with teammate Max Verstappen, the Australian Grand Prix quickly turned into a desperate weekend for Sergio Perez. The Mexican struggled on the Saturday morning with engine braking problems, then crashed out of qualifying later in the day which put him at the back of the grid. But Perez battled his way through the field in the race and managed to stay out of the chaos at the end, eventually finishing in P5 and taking the fastest lap, something which Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes the Mexican had been targeting. “This wasn’t his weekend, but he took that fastest race lap and that will feel like a kind of reparation after Jeddah. There, of course, he also wanted the fastest lap,” he said to ServusTV . “In the race [Australia] he got the most out of it. We knew overtaking here isn’t easy, or even very tricky, and prior to the race we already took seventh or sixth place into account.” Red Bull dominance not set in stone Marko has warned that even though Red Bull has shown dominance over the field by finishing over 20 seconds ahead of the competition at Bahrain and Saudi, he believes there could still be anomalies that make their races less straightforward. “You see how close it is to each other. Everyone says we have a huge lead and it may be there if everything goes well, but that changes immediately if some things are wrong,” he explained. “In addition, we also saw Ferrari, Aston Martin and Mercedes not sitting still last race. Progress has already been made there.”

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