After being in the top threee in this morning's Red Bull dominated practice session, Sergio Perez qualified in P7, and will start the Turkish GP in P6, next to Fernando Alonso.
Condiciones complicadas, ¡no pusimos la vuelta que esperábamos en Q3! ¡¡¡Mañana es lo que cuenta!!!— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) October 9, 2021
Never give up!
Difficult conditions out there, we couldn't get the lap we expected in Q3!
Tomorrow is when it counts! #nevergiveup #turkishgp pic.twitter.com/6ld8qR5ri1
The Mexican driver is pleased with the result, but not completely satisfied with his Q3, as he said in the post qualifying press conference:
"I'm very happy with the way I have improved the performance over the weekend, I think we have shown at times a very good pace. It was just that final run in Q3 that was a misfortune because we had only one set available for us and I didn't improve anything."
However, Perez is sure that tomorrow will be better for the team
"I think I picked up quite a lot of free grip, went into a lot of understeer and that made things quite a lot harder. Given how short are the gaps here, it made the difference. But we have shown good pace on Friday in the long run, and the changes that we did will favor our race pace, so we should be able to come through."
He added that the team had made the strategical call of going into quails with three sets of soft tyres, and that only one was available in Q3 not because of his spin in Q2 but because they had to use two in the first qualifying segment.
Asked on what are the causes of the extra rear grip that makes the cars less balanced, the Mexican driver said that he believes it's due to multiple factors:
"I think it's a combination of everything, we haven't been able to "switch on" the compounds properly and just to get the balance together, we tend to find very different balance across the lap."
Perez stated that he hopes to make progress rapidly at the beginning of the race so as to be fighting with the race leaders and not to be caught on by Hamilton, but that he won't be paying any special attention to the championship leader:
"Well, I will treat Lewis as any other rival out there, you know? I want to do the best possible job for myself, and that won't make it easy for anyone."
"Mercedes are showing very strong pace, but we'll see it tomorrow. I think the race is going to be very long, the degradation is going to be very high, so there's plenty to play for."
He added that he believes the degradation levels will be higher than last year's, but less impressive than Friday's, and that the team is expecting more rain for tomorrow morning, which might "reset everything".
"There's a lot to play for tomorrow, I think it's one of those races where qualifying is not the most important one. Tomorrow there will be a lot happening, a lot of people getting off, and, hopefully, there can come some good opportunities for us."
🗣 "I believe if we can get a good clean run into turn one then we will be looking good for the rest of the race and a podium could be possible." @SChecoPerez on #TurkishGP qualifying 🇹🇷👉 https://t.co/bklybvs1DJ pic.twitter.com/dTMIjiMvEH— Red Bull Racing Honda (@redbullracing) October 9, 2021
The Red Bull driver went on to praise his teammate, championship contender Max Verstappen, and especially his consistency, while admitting it's "not easy to be his teammate".
"I think Max has been the driver of the season so far, to be honest, he has done the least mistakes than everyone out there. He has put things together at an high level, but the season is still very long so we'll see later on, but so far he has been surprising in a very positive way on how he delivers without mistakes at an extremely high level."