Sergio Perez was left disappointed after Saturday's qualifying session ahead of the 2022 F1 Spanish Grand Prix. He could only secure a fifth place on the grid, behind his teammate, both Ferraris, and a Mercedes.
The Mexican missed out on FP1 after giving up his Red Bull to Formula 2 driver and member of the Red Bull Junior Team, Juri Vips. The 21-year-old got the opportunity to make his F1 debut this weekend, but Sergio Perez claims that this cost him significantly in yesterday's qualifying session.
As reported by RacingNews365, Perez reflected on his Saturday in Barcelona, saying:
“It didn’t go to plan. I think it was very costly for our side to miss FP1 because, the way the tyres have been behaving this weekend, it’s [affected] our single-lap [pace], and it’s been really hard to catch up. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the car or with the tyres. The car was just too much on the edge. The tyres overheat with the energy we put into sector one and sector two and we haven’t been to a track with these temperatures – that seems to be really difficult.”
The Red Bull driver, however, expressed hope for the main race, saying:
“I’m still optimistic for tomorrow. It will be important to get a good start and get as many positions as possible – just go forwards and full attack. I’m only P5 and it’s a very long race ahead. The tyres are going to be doing very weird things tomorrow.”
Perez, who qualified behind George Russell's Mercedes and just beat Lewis Hamilton to fifth, also added that he was not entirely surprised to see the Silver Arrows in the mix, given their strong performance in Miami. He said:
“I think they have already shown in Miami they have been strong, so I think it was just a matter of time before they join the club.”
Red Bull have had a significant pace advantage over Mercedes so far, but things may quickly start to take a turn, given the upgrades coming this weekend.
Sergio Perez describes Saturday's qualifying Red Bull set-up as "awkward"
Red Bull tried out a new set-up for Sergio Perez at the Spanish GP qualifying, which the Mexican was not quite comfortable with in the end.
In a post-qualifying media interaction, the 32-year old said:
“Today was tough, there was more to give, especially on my final run in Q3, we tried something different with the set-up and it felt a bit awkward, so I didn’t get a great lap. I have felt like I have been struggling throughout the weekend, I haven’t been comfortable, we tried some things on the car and the pace was there but I couldn’t quite make it work to put that lap together today. It’s not an ideal result but I think we will have good race pace and we will push from the start.”
Sergio Perez currently stands third in the drivers' standings with a total of 66 points.