A tricky race weekend for Sergio Perez, who can't seem to deliver in Barcelona. The Mexican Grand Prix coudln't go higher than ninth position during all three practice sessions and in qualifying he was only able to put himself in 8th. A disappointing result, considering his team-mate Max Verstappen put himself in second, 8 tenths ahead of Perez.
The Mexican has later revealed he was not feeling 100% well, as he was struggling with a shoulder pain all throughout qualifying. He managed to get to Q3, but during his first run he spun and lost his Red Bull in the gravel. He manged to easily come back on track and score the 8th fastest time overall. He will then share the fourth row with McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo.
“It was a tough qualifying out there and just a bad day in general," the Mexican admitted.
"I didn’t get a good lap throughout today and I was not feeling 100% in qualifying with some shoulder pain so we did well to progress to Q3 which shows what a good car we have. In terms of pace, we have a very good race car so it’s a shame we are starting out of position as it’s a difficult place to overtake but I’m confident we will be able to fight for a very strong result.
Despite Perez issue, Max Verstappen managed to put his RB16B in second place, just 36 thousands behind pole sitter Lewis Hamilton. Last year the Austrian team was 7 tenths behind Mercedes, meaning the team has made very good progress since last year.
Tyre management will be crucial during the race, as teams might opt for a two stops strategy, but Perez is well known for his good tyre management and progressing through the field. Overtaking is difficult in Barcelona, but the Mexican promises an aggressive attitude.
"Tomorrow is a new opportunity, hopefully we are able to minimize the damage and take some steps forward. I’ll be aggressive as I need to come through the field and catch up to the leaders as early as possible. In general, it’s not been the best weekend from my side but looking at previous races this year, you can see things are coming together and I’m just getting to know the car better which is the key”.