Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Autodromo do Algarve, 2021

Qualifying alongside Verstappen “absolutely the minimum” for Perez

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez has said that locking out the second row for Red Bull is the requirement of his role at the team and he still has performance to find.

Perez qualified just behind team mate Max Verstappen and was able to keep pace with him throughout qualifying, including getting through to Q3 on a medium tyre set. He said his performance was “the way it should be, of course.”

“There are reasons behind why they were not like this in the past. But that’s absolutely the minimum. So I’m not even thinking on that.”

Having qualified fourth for today’s race, Perez felt there was more time in the car. “But targets or whether I’m where I need to be or not to be, I’m not bothered with that stuff.

“I just want to to improve and although the grid position is a good one, I’m not pleased with how I was on top of the car,” he said. “Today I wasn’t able to to get the best out of my tyres, so we’ve got some work to do to understand that.”

Perez out-qualified Verstappen for the previous race at Imola. He said he was much less comfortable in the Red Bull car at the Autodromo do Algarve in comparison. “It’s worse,” he said, “it’s comparable to Bahrain.

“Obviously, Bahrain was my first weekend and it was never as bad but Imola was a very different track, so it was a lot better come qualifying, I was able to do the right progression.

“Whereas I think there is some fundamentals I lacked I today on my tyres and just not getting the maximum out of them, so I say theoretically, I can do a great lap, sectors here and there, but not being able to put it [together] at the right time.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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5 comments on “Qualifying alongside Verstappen “absolutely the minimum” for Perez”

  1. Well, good to see that Perez is not happy since there are 4 cars in front of him. Since Max also mentions how it is hard to get everyting working well for him this weekend, it does point to the issue at hand being in the car / tyres.

  2. lorrydriver1
    2nd May 2021, 16:48

    RB aren’t happy with Checo. Remember he is not a rookie but presented as a seasoned professional by people who think Bottas shouldn’t be in F1. So when he is given fresh rubber at the end of a GP and can’t deliver a fast lap I can assure you the guys looking at the data aren’t pleased. Bottas gets given fresh rubber and immediately is on did Max on fresh rubber. I think Checo is on borrowed time.

    1. Checo did not have any brand new softs left for the race. He was put on used softs which were much more older towards the end of the race when the cars are the lightest.

  3. Realistically, Verstappen was 7 tenths faster (and more) in Q3 though and should have had pole by quite a margin. It’s just that Verstappen lost that lap due to track limits, when in fact he lost a few tenths rather than gained any by his going off.

    1. That’s true, not sure why I haven’t thought of that: verstappen didn’t only lose his 1 tenth pole lap, he also slided, which means he lost more time.

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