Perez rues missed shot at first pole position after Q3 “disaster”

2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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A frustrated Sergio Perez believes he could have taken pole position for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix until his weekend fell apart in Q3.

The Red Bull driver said he was “pissed off” after qualifying seventh for tomorrow’s race. He will start sixth due to Lando Norris’ grid penalty.

Perez was convinced he had a chance to score the first pole position of his career. “We’ve been strong all weekend,” he said. “We were, I think, P2 Q1, P1 in Q2 and Q3 really when it mattered it was a disaster.”

He said he was unable to find a good position to start his lap as all the cars in Q3 left the pits in a cluster as drivers tried to take slipstreams from each other.

“The track is so big but we just seem to – because we all want to be together – it’s a disaster,” said Perez. “In terms of track position Q3 was the worst that I had all weekend.”

“We all went at the same time,” he added, “people were creating gaps, but then other people overtaking, not respecting the gentleman’s agreement it just made things a bit harder.”

Perez admitted he hadn’t been able to put in a competitive lap time “when it really counted” after lapping almost three-tenths of a second slower in Q3 than he had in Q2. He ended the session almost seven-tenths of a second behind pole-winner Charles Leclerc.

“Today we should have qualified well ahead of where we are by putting that lap together,” he said. “That lap from Leclerc was probably a bit strong I have to say but other than that we had the pace to fight for the for the pole today.

“It’s not like Monaco where we were totally off, today we definitely had the pace to be much higher up. And we proved that, we proved it since practice one. I’m not too concerned. I think tomorrow it’s a long race ahead of us.”

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2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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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...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “Perez rues missed shot at first pole position after Q3 “disaster””

  1. I think that he had the measure of VER this weekend and what he says is quite real.
    Sadly, for a 2nd weekend in a row, we got robbed of some last second excitement because of these red flags in Q3. Driver/Team fans may enjoy it, but not the rest very few F1 fans.

    1. Indeed, it’s a shame and I say it as someone who doesn’t mind who gets pole between red bull and ferrari: everyone but mercedes! Was really an exciting qualifying and it’s a shame to lose it just cause we don’t have an anti-red flag rule (add 5 mins or so).

    2. Just give drivers an amount of laps instead of time… problem solved!

      Reply moderated
  2. Perez was about to get a tow from Verstappen. So yes I think he had a good chance to be on pole.

    But RedBull is in good shape. Verstappen in 3rd and Perez in 7th are good for Sunday.

  3. Can we please stop going on about this “gentleman’s agreement” that has now been brought up at least 3 times in 6 races. Either make it a proper rule, or forget about it because ethics go out the window when there’s an advantage to be gained.

  4. Perez always had amazing results in Baku, in lesser cars, so I expect him to shine tomorrow, even win the race if it’s gonna be a crazy one like we sometimes get around this track.

  5. Anything can happen in Baku, so he’s got every chance of progressing tomorrow, especially since he’s got one fewer driver to pass than before Norris’ penalty.

  6. RedBull clearly dropped the ball here today. I expected more of this team. Maybe they are not ready yet to challenge Mercedes.

  7. Don’t understand why RedBull is letting Ferrari get out on track first and spoil it for everyone. Sainz was going to do the last minute crash only Yuki beat him to it.

  8. If Checo had been able to get in another lap and it wasn’t great. I would have accepted it and moved on, but these stupid Red Flag incidents robbed us of another exciting pole battle. I’m so annoyed at it. The silver lining is they have great straight line speed and Checo had the best race pace in FP2, so with the longest straight? (I believe)… He should be able to make up some positions and work his way up to a podium if all goes well.. But really, he should be on the front row and fighting for the win from lap 1.

  9. Perez really needs to warm up to things. A clear weakness, but his strength of tyre saving and passing will surely be on display in the race.

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