Perez: Hamilton straight-line speed 'from another planet'

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Sergio Perez witnessed firsthand in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix the full might of Mercedes' straight-line speed which the Red Bull driver described as being "from another planet".

Mercedes has showcased in recent races the top speed quality of its W12. But Lewis Hamilton's remarkable performances in Brazil, both in Saturday's sprint event as well as in Sunday's race, has put the Brackley squad's car on different level.

Perez who had launched his race from fourth on grid slotted in at the start behind teammate Max Verstappen. But the Mexican was caught and overhauled by Hamilton as soon as lap 18 as the Briton's irresistible charge unfolded.

"I mean, the straight-line speed was from another planet," said Perez who would go on to finish P4.

"I looked at my mirror at the exit, and I felt very safe. But then I look back into it again and he’s right next to me. It was really impressive.

"They’ve been really surprising. So we’ll see what we are able to do going into Qatar.

"I think it’s going to be a different track. Probably the straight-line speed is not so relevant over there so hopefully we can be a lot more competitive."


Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was equally impressed by Mercedes' velocity, and worried about what it may signify as far as the upcoming races are concerned.

"The straight-line speed is really impressive," he commented. "That new engine, they've got a Monaco rear wing on here... It's very, very impressive.

"For Max, he can't defend against that. If any other driver had to be within 0.4 of a second to get anywhere near an overtake, the Mercedes was 0.9 to a second and could be in the braking area at the end of the straight.

"That's a very potent weapon with some very fast tracks coming up in the last few races."

"So after the highs of Mexico and Austin, we have... not a low here, but it's a tough one, having led probably 75 percent of the race," concluded Horner.

"But [it's] one week to the next one. We'll brush ourselves down and come back fighting in a week's time."

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