Sergio Perez has admitted he “wasn’t there” in the Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as a series of errors dropped him out of the points-paying positions.

After starring in qualifying, Perez struggled to capitalise on his front-row starting position to finish 11th - moving up one place due to Kimi Raikkonen's 30-second time penalty.

Perez’s race began to unravel when he ran off the track under the Safety Car, losing two positions before repassing those two cars.

The Red Bull driver was hit with a 10-second stop-go penalty for re-overtaking under the Safety Car.

Perez was still in the fight for the podium, running in fourth behind Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc after the red flag stoppage.

A mistake on Lap 38 at the exit of the Villeneuve chicane dropped him well down the order, ending his chances of a big points haul at Imola

“I’m very, very sorry first of all to my team because I wasn’t there today,” Perez said. “There were very poor conditions which meant that I struggled to put any temperature into my tyres, so therefore the car was very difficult to drive.

“In the Safety Car I went off and came back and I got the penalty for that, which meant I lost the position to Norris and that made things tricky. Then at the end, we should have finished on the podium but then I made that mistake – and that was very costly.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was satisfied with the pace Perez showed throughout the race but admitted it was a “tough” afternoon for the Mexican.

“It was tough for him,” Horner added. “He had such a good Saturday and then the race just didn’t go his way this afternoon, a couple of little mistakes, particularly the spin... So tough for him. We should have taken a lot more points out of Mercedes today. But he had good pace in the race and there’s still a long, long way to go.”

Red Bull trails Mercedes by seven points in the constructors’ championship after two rounds.

 

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