Fresh off a brilliant podium at the Turkish Grand Prix, Sergio Perez continued his excellent recent form by qualifying P5 for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
After struggling in FP3 where he could only wind up in P11, the 30-year-old produced it when it mattered most to be the best of the rest behind the Red Bulls; it was almost P4 as he ended up just 0.048s behind Alex Albon.
Crucially for Checo, he starts ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, one of his rivals for 4th in the Drivers’ Championship. With Lance Stroll outside the top 10, Racing Point will be pinning their hopes on Perez to consolidate P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.
“[It] was definitely a strong performance today, what really made our qualifying was the fact we managed to get through in Q1 with one set, so having two sets in Q3 I think helped a bit the performance to get the maximum out of the car, we are in a good position for tomorrow,” Perez said.
“It’s always the thing after qualifying [that] it’s easy to see [how much time we lost]. I think getting that three-tenths [improvement on the final run] was going to very difficult with the tyre basically. We’ve been struggling with the usage of the tyre with using too much through the lap. I am pleased. I was expecting a bit worse of a qualifying but I think Q1 really made our qualifying.”
Despite a strong showing, Perez believes qualifying is pretty abnormal at Bahrain due to the massive degradation that the drivers face in the race. Nonetheless, the Mexican is feeling good for the race.
“Qualifying is unrepresentative here. I think having a good consistent pace tomorrow will make your race so we will see what we are able to do. I am pretty confident. I think we have a good car underneath us for tomorrow so I am looking forward to it.”