Sergio Perez has described how the Qatar Grand Prix was a "deep warning" after a stretch of poor races called into question his Red Bull future.
After a DNF in Japan, Perez finished 10th in Qatar but was well off the pace of team-mate Max Verstappen and received multiple time penalties for exceeding track limits.
He also crashed out of the Sprint race to hand Verstappen the title, but bounced back in the United States in the race after with fourth place, although he was sixth on the road, being promoted after Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were disqualified.
Another mistake at Turn 1 in Mexico followed, but the Red Bull driver did eventually secure second place, and credits time with his engineers as crucial to solving his dip in form.
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Perez's deep warning
"I had a really deep, deep warning in Qatar and went back to the factory for like a week and went through it in much detail with the engineers," Perez explained to media including RacingNews365.
"We understood a lot of things that we weren't doing to compensate for the weaknesses that we had.
"We were probably taking the wrong approach with the car and trying to compensate too much with the set-up and ultimately, getting lost weekend in, weekend out.
"I needed the time, but we are very busy with all the commitments we have in racing, with the simulator and so on, but I felt at that time we were just getting lost.
"It was important to step back and really look in detail and our season transformed completely."