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Perez expecting weather to play a key role at Imola

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have been looking ahead to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and Perez in particular is keen to see how rain could have an effect over the weekend.

Sergio Perez believes that the weather could be a significant factor over the course of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend. The Red Bull driver currently sits ahead of teammate Max Verstappen in the Drivers' Championship, and claimed a P2 finish last time out in Australia whilst Verstappen suffered another mechanically-related DNF. Perez hopes to continue to build on his recent achievements in Italy, and is aiming to work on developing a consistent level of performance going forwards. "I am looking forward to getting back in the car this weekend," the Mexican said in Red Bull's race preview. "It was a mixed few days in Australia for the team, but for me I managed another consistent weekend, after my pole and fourth place in Jeddah. "I am pleased with how I have been performing so far, and getting on the podium for the first time this season in Melbourne was a step in the right direction, but I won't stop there. "I need and want to be there weekly for the team and for myself."

Will rain affect the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix?

Rain has been touted as a possibility for the weekend ahead in Imola, and Perez is keen to see how this could play a role. The track had been hit by heavy showers ahead of the Grand Prix at last year's event, and Perez ended the race down in 11th after spinning on the damp circuit. This year, he is hoping for better. "We go back to the Sprint format this weekend, and I will be aiming to pick up the most points possible," Perez said. "That all comes from a good qualifying performance on Friday, and I hope to hook it up again in Italy. "It looks like it could rain this weekend, so that will play a part and I want to learn from the performance I had in Imola in the wet last season and continue to improve in all areas."

Verstappen: Free Practice 1 will be important

Verstappen, meanwhile, wants the team to score some solid points at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, given that their tally has taken a hit from his two retirements so far this season. With the first Sprint of the year taking place at Imola, the Dutchman believes that Free Practice 1 could be crucial in terms of getting the car set up correctly. "I'm looking forward to racing again this weekend in Imola," Verstappen commented. "This is obviously the first Sprint race of the year, so it's important to make the most of the first practice session, so we have a good understanding of where the set-up needs to be for qualifying on Friday. "The team trackside and back at the factory in Milton Keynes are working incredibly hard, hopefully we'll have a straightforward weekend and that we score some good points as a team. "For now, we'll take it race by race and we'll see where we end up."

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