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Perez ignores qualifying loss to Ocon: I was quite a bit better in the races

Written by  Dec 27, 2018

Sergio Perez believes his superior pace in races made him better than Esteban Ocon during their time at Force India.

The Mexican came out on top in the Drivers' Championship by 13 points in both seasons that the pair raced with the now renamed Racing Point F1 squad.

During the 2018 campaign, Ocon out-qualified Perez 16-5 with an average difference of almost half a second but, four more retirements, including a disqualification in Austin, plus Checo's third place in Baku swung the battle in his favour.

“I think in qualifying he probably had the upper hand although the gap between us in qualifying is less than a tenth," Perez was quoted by PlanetF1.

“He was more often in front in qualifying than myself, but I think the gap [between us] in the race is much bigger than qualifying.

“In the race I thought I did the bigger difference, always on the pace, the pace was a bit stronger in the race.

“We were very close again but I think he was just a little bit better in qualifying and I was quite a bit better in the race.”

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The pair had an often fractious partnership over the two years with a number of comings together resulting in the introduction of team orders on two occasions.

In 2019, however, Ocon will be gone and is being replaced by Lance Stroll following his father's takeover of the team this past summer and the Canadian believes he will have a lot to show after a tough year with Williams.

“All in all I do believe I’m a more complete driver today than I was a year ago,” Stroll claimed. “I just haven’t been able to demonstrate that due to the package.

“I’ve learned so much with another season under my belt of Formula 1, time with the engineers, expanding my knowledge of F1, the tyres, racing, qualifying. Just with seat time, you learn so much and that’s far from done.

“I just turned 20 years old and I still believe I’m very far from reaching my full potential. Every year I try to keep chipping away at it," he added.

“Over the winter this year I’m going to reflect and work on my weaknesses and build on my strengths.”

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