until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

The problems that made Perez’s home qualifying a ‘total mess’

by Scott Mitchell-Malm, Jack Cozens
2 min read

Red Bull Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez blamed an electrical issue for his “total mess” of a qualifying session for his home Mexican Grand Prix.

Perez will start Sunday’s race from fourth on the grid, having qualified 0.353 seconds off his polesitting team-mate Max Verstappen and less than half a tenth from the Mercedes of George Russell that will start from the front row.

But he ran out of sequence on his second runs in both the first and second parts of qualifying and said he had no laptime reference for the entire session due to the electrical issue, which he also said cost him the use of DRS in Q1.

“It was a mess; a total mess,” said Perez, analysing his session.

“We had this electrical issue from the beginning, but if I look back at my qualifying I was nearly knocked out in Q1, nearly in Q2, I had no reference to progress, I had no laptimes.

“Sometimes I could not figure out where I was with my brake balance either.

“So it was a total mess, but at the end I think fourth is not the worst position but I think certainly we could have been quite a lot higher than where we are.”

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Mexican Grand Prix Qualifying Day Mexico City, Mexico

He told Sky Sports F1 the issue left him “pretty much blind” throughout qualifying and although he described fourth place as “not the end of the world” he felt he could have been in the fight for pole position without it.

Perez said the decision to go early on his second runs, in Q1 and Q2 in particular but also in the final part of qualifying, was because he and Red Bull wanted to “do our own thing” and did not think there was anything “to gain by going later”.

“We believed that it was pretty small,” he said, when asked about track improvement. “We didn’t want to be out there with traffic.

“What I lacked was to have a reference on my lap and also knowing where I was on brake balance.”

F1 Grand Prix Of Mexico Qualifying

Perez still managed to outqualify both Ferraris despite his issue.

Asked by The Race about that in the context of his fight for second in the F1 drivers’ championship with Charles Leclerc, who will start seventh behind the lead Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas, Perez said: “I just want to win and I will give my best into Turn 1 and see what happens.”

But he conceded the first corner on the opening lap was his best chance of gaining ground in a race where cooling is regularly a problem.

“After that it can be a bit chaotic, and at the stops,” said Perez. “It will be all about that.”

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