Sergio Perez claims he failed to advance in Saturday’s qualifying round in Mexico, maintaining that his prospects of securing pole were severely hampered by the failure to have a fresh set of soft tyres in Q3.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez qualified in sixth and will be starting the Mexican Grand Prix from the third row, two places behind his teammate Max Verstappen and 0.257 seconds behind Ferrari polesitter Charles Leclerc.
The Mexican is set to start his race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday afternoon alongside Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, although he was also outqualified by AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo.
However, Perez believed that the primary reason limiting his performance in the final shootout was the use of an additional set of softs in Q2, which consequently denied him a new set in the final round of qualifying.
“Our progression in Q3 wasn’t great,” admitted Perez. “We ended up losing one set that potentially we didn’t need to, but, obviously, you only know that after qualifying.
“I think that really hurt us in the progression we had in Q3, when you are talking about one tenth and a half or two tenths, that would have changed our life completely, so this is the way it is.”
Sergio Perez acknowledged that the driver who many believe Red Bull will favor to take his spot going forward turned in a “tremendous lap” on Saturday to outqualify him.
Daniel Ricciardo improved his AlphaTauri team’s best qualifying result of the season by four places by starting fourth on the grid for the Mexican Grand Prix.
As AlphaTauri currently sits at the bottom of the standings, Perez, whose team has already won the constructors’ title this year, suffered a setback as a result of the outcome.
“Well, Daniel did a tremendous lap,” he admitted. “And I don’t think it’s just Daniel that wants my seat.
“I think there are a lot of other drivers that want to be in that seat. And it’s great, if it’s what they deserve, then I’m happy for them.”
Though Perez has improved recently, Ricciardo has also performed impressively in his second race after recovering from injury. This will be Ricciardo’s fourth grand prix appearance of the year.
Encouraged by a change in setup direction Red Bull had taken at US Grand Prix, Perez felt he could have gone farther if he had been able to make more adjustments during the first practice session.
“We already made progress in Austin, we are making progress here,” he said. “So I think we are in a good level with the car.”
Perez hopes to carry on his streak of podium finishes at the Mexican Grand Prix. He has finished on the podium in both of his home appearances for Red Bull.