Sergio Perez has opened up about his late-season struggles in Formula 1, describing how he hit rock-bottom in the Qatar Grand Prix.
The race in Lusail was a struggle for Perez, as he finished 10th, 80.1s behind team-mate and World Champion Max Verstappen, having not been able to get to grips with the RB19, and picking up regular track limits violations.
The race came in the middle of a tricky spell from Japan to Mexico City in which Perez only scored 16 points to Verstappen's 117 in the same period, with rumours swirling of his future if he failed to secure P2 in the Drivers' - Red Bull's stated goal.
He did eventually rally to finish runner-up after an intensive debrief with the team prior to the United States Grand Prix, and has spoken of the impact of the alarming dip in form.
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Perez's worst-ever race
"Qatar was really the worst weekend I remember in a while, probably my worst weekend ever in the sport," Perez explained as quoted by Motorsport.com.
"It was such a bad weekend that I really felt like: 'I cannot be this bad, there's something that's going on'.
"When you have these back-to-back races, I feel like sometimes there is not enough time to really go through it all, so I felt like we really had to take a bit of time to make sure that we understood which way we were going.
Obviously, we had a deficit within the car setup that we were playing around [with] weekend by weekend and we were just not able to progress through it.
"But once we managed to get on top of that, we understood a lot of things that we were trying to compensate for, and that just basically meant that we were not just not doing things right.
"It was bad that it happened but in a way, it was really good because it really strengthened our team quite a lot."