At the new circuit in Jeddah, Sergio Pérez had a mixed time during qualifying, got through to Q3 but regretted the tyre decision as he struggled with understeer.
“We were P1 in Q1 and Q2 and then in Q3 I don’t think the approach we took with the tyres was the right one. I suddenly picked up a lot of understeer and couldn’t match my Q2 time, which is a bit of a shame.
“These tyres are so picky that if you are not in the right temperature window then your balance is totally different and that is what happened to me today. It is a physically demanding track; it puts a lot of stress on your body and mentally it is challenging too to be up there session after session.
"Today wasn’t an ideal day for us as a team but tomorrow there is still a lot to play for, anything can happen still,” says the Mexican, hopeful about scoring some better points at the race tomorrow.
Even though Pérez had some pace and managed to top the timesheet a couple of times, his best lap, of 1:28.123, only landed him fifth place, behind Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and ahead of Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.
“The pace was there today, and I really hope we can improve on our starting position and get into the podium positions very early on.
“We will see if starting on the clean side of the grid tomorrow is an advantage, I think the start is a good chance to overtake, then we will go from there and try to be in the mix with the leaders straight away.”