Formula 1 Racing

Perez calls qualifying a “total disaster” after second Q1 exit · RaceFans

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Sergio Perez said he couldn’t get his tyres to work in qualifying after failing to progress beyond the first round for the second race weekend in a row.

The Red Bull driver was eliminated in Q1, as he also was in Monaco two weeks earlier. His final effort in the session temporarily lifted him to 12th place, but as other drivers improved he slipped back, and Alexander Albon eventually eliminated him by three-hundredths of a session.

“It was a total disaster,” Perez told the official F1 channel. “I just couldn’t get the grip in.”

He was ninth quickest in the final practice session, four tenths of a second slower than team mate Max Verstappen. The other Red Bull driver went on to match the time of pole-winner George Russell in qualifying to within three decimal places.

For Perez, the handling of the RB20 worsened between the two sessions. “Mainly the issue was the rear end, the rear axle,” he said. “It felt a little bit worse.”

Qualifying was run in cooler conditions than final practice and Perez said he found it harder to make the tyres work. His best lap in Q1 was 0.966s slower than Verstappen’s.

“I think it was a very strange sensation for a lot of cars out there. For us, I just couldn’t get the tyre switched on. It was taking a while to really switch on the tyre.

“It was a total disaster. I think when we went at the end, I just couldn’t get a proper lap in.”

The Red Bull driver – who was announced to be staying with Red Bull for at least another two seasons earlier this week – faces a difficult climb through the order from 16th on the grid in tomorrow’s race.

His qualifying performances have taken a downward turn since the beginning of the season. He started all of the first six races inside the top six, but hasn’t seen Q3 for the last three rounds.

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