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Perez fears Ferrari 'unreachable' as Red Bull endure Monaco misery

Sergio Perez is down on Red Bull's chances in Monaco, with the team struggling to find the one-lap pace to match Charles Leclerc and Ferrari.

Perez Monaco
To news overview © XPBimages

Sergio Perez believes Friday at the Monaco Grand Prix was but the pre-curser for a difficult weekend for Red Bull, suggesting Ferrari is unreachable around the streets of Monte Carlo.

For the second consecutive round, the Milton Keynes team has underwhelmed on the opening day, with both the 34-year-old and team-mate Verstappen struggling to extract strong one-lap pace from the RB20.

In free practice 1, both drivers were unable to set a quick lap at the end after Zhou Guanyu's red flag interrupted the session, leaving them in P11 and P12 respectively, with Verstappen setting his time on the medium tyres to Perez's hards.

Things did not get much better in the second session. The Dutchman could not get within half a second of Charles Leclerc, who topped the timing sheet, whilst Perez was a further tenth-and-a-half back.

"It's gonna be tough. I think our limitations are really hard to get away from at the moment," the six-time race winner told F1TV after free practice 2.

"We'll see what we are able to come up with tonight. We ran the two cars slightly different - I don't know what the issues are for Max, so plenty of things. The long-run pace seems to be in a better condition. It's just too late, so we'll have to wait and see.

"I don't think it's only one," the Mexican added when asked if there was one key area the team would focus on overnight. "I think we've got a few items that we need to be able to improve, and hopefully it can put us back in the fight and just be closer to the top. It's looking tough at the moment."

Ferrari 'just not reachable'

Having been ran close by McLaren for one-lap pace in Imola, Friday in Monaco saw Ferrari take the fight to the constructors' champions. Even Mercedes were in the mix, with Lewis Hamilton topping FP1.

However, it is the Scuderia who worries Perez most, contending that the team is able to pull everything together, as and when it needs to - something evidenced by Charles Leclerc setting an FP2 time quicker than pole position at Monaco last season.

"I think Ferrari at the moment are just not reachable," Perez said, trying to set expectations for what might be possible for Red Bull on Saturday. "I think they're really, really strong."

"Whenever they need a lap, they seem to put it on really easy, really quick - something that's quite a benefit around this place, to be able to put the lap in quick whenever you need to and don't struggle so much with tyres and that sort of thing," he added before concluding: "So, they're looking very strong at the moment."

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen and Lando Norris went head-to-head for the victory around the famous Imola Circuit as McLaren continue to pile the pressure on Red Bull!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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