Perez performance reason for runner-up battle – Hamilton

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has insisted Sergio Perez should “easily” finish
second in the Drivers' Championship this year. Red Bull has
dominated the season by winning 16 out of the 17 races staged so
far, with Perez accounting for two of those victories as well as
the Azerbaijan Sprint. But the Mexican has endured a difficult
campaign following his strong start and has scored just five points
at the last three races, all riddled with mistakes and incident.
His disappointing run has left him in danger of slipping behind
Hamilton in the Drivers' standings with the gap between the pair
just 30 points with five races remaining. Hamilton, who has
finished as the championship runner-up on three occasions, has not
won a race this season as Mercedes has continued to compete off the
front-running pace. The seven-time World Champion's consistency has
gifted him the chance to finish in second place – but he asserted
that it is squarely down to the performance of Perez. “I mean, it's
ultimately largely dependent on Checo's performance moving forward
as he should easily have second,” Hamilton told media including
RacingNews365.com . “I'm really proud of where we are, where I've
managed to get to, I've been really proud of the race performances
so far.” Hamilton prioritising team fight Although the runner-up
spot in the Drivers' standings is on the cards for Hamilton, the
38-year-old has said he is prioritising the team's push in the
Constructors' Championship. Mercedes currently sit second in the
standings, 28 points in front of Ferrari – the only team to defeat
Red Bull this year. Finishing second would be a welcome boost to
Mercedes, who slipped to third in last year's championship. “Of
course I want to try and do better and do more,” Hamilton added.
“If we were able to get second [in the Drivers' Championship] that
would be amazing, but the main focus is really trying to get second
for the team.”

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