Sergio Perez scored a fantastic P2 during the Imola qualifying session, missing on the pole position only for 0.035 seconds.
This is the best qualifying placement ever for the Mexican driver, having previously started a race twice in third place, and he's also the first Red Bull driver to outqualify Max Verstappen on merit since Daniel Ricciardo at Abu Dhabi in 2018.
Perez is satisfied with his performance, even thought a small mistake in the final corner of the track cost him the top spot: “I did a mistake on my final corner, so I think it's everything positive," he said during the post qualifying interviews.
"We just have to make sure that we keep progressing, and tomorrow is what matters," he added.
Checo, who was yesterday involved in an accident with Esteban Ocon during the first free practice session, was extremely delighted with his team's work, and the effort they made to get his car ready for today's sessions: “I have to say well done to the team, yesterday I made a mistake and I made them work hard during the day, so it's a good recovery."
The driver was surprised by his performance, a significant improvement from his starting position in the last Bahrain GP, in which he hadn't managed to get through Q2: "But the most important is always showing progress. I never expected to be here today where we were yesterday. We've been improving, but it's just important to be P2."
The Red Bull driver will begin tomorrow's race using the soft tyres, a strategy that differs from both his teammate Verstappena and pole sitter Lewis Hamilton. Perez is uncertain about tomorrow's race:“I think anything can happen tomorrow, we are on a different strategy to Lewis and Max. And so, it's gonna be interesting to see what we can do."
He doesn't set a specific podium goal to achieve, but wants to keep his point-scoring streak going, having ended the first gp in fifth place:"Most important [is to] get those points, get battling, which is priority at the moment."