It was a frustrating qualifying session for Red Bull at Interlagos as while Max Verstappen made a mistake in Q3 that cost him pole, Sergio Perez was left ‘super disappointed’ after traffic hampered his hopes of finishing among the top three._
With rain in the air, the drivers were quick to hit the track in Q3 as they looked to make the most of the conditions. However, during his flying lap, Perez, in soft rubber, finds himself stuck behind Charles Leclerc, in between.
That meant the Mexican could only post a time of 1m 15.601s, 3.9s off pole sitter Kevin Magnussen – with George Russell’s spin in the gravel bringing out the red flags as rain cut short the rest of the session, left Perez down in ninth.
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“It was a… misfortune there. I don’t know what Leclerc and Ferrari were doing. It was very clear that he was too slow on the inters on the exit round and I thought he was going to box,” Perez said.
“It was pretty obvious to me that he was going to box and get on the slicks, but he just stayed in front, and I did my lap right behind him and unfortunately that meant I had lost too much.” [time]… We will do our best tomorrow to try to recover and try to get into the points.
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Speaking about whether he could have taken pole had he looked clear, Perez said: “You’ll never know, but I definitely think I could have been a lot higher. The top three should have been possible today. But unfortunately we start P9. Very disappointed with today’s result.
His team-mate Verstappen qualified second, and while he was happy with his performance and that of his Red Bull team on Friday, he says an error on his lap in Q3 cost him a chance to clinch pole.
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“It was pretty tough conditions, you just had to stay on track to get your laps at the right time,” Verstappen said. “I think at the end of the day we did it in Q1, Q2, it was just in Q3 that we knew it was going to be that first lap and I went to turn 8, and I kinda stuck Just tough there but still front row and that’s what’s important.
When asked if he would be more aggressive in the Sprint on Saturday, Verstappen said: “I will always try to have fun, but I think the approach should always be the same. But let’s see how much we will be competitive tomorrow in the [Sprint]. But also, the weather, I have no idea what’s going to happen, but that makes Interlagos special for everyone.