Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023

Perez says he could have gone “a little bit” faster after second pole position

2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez said he could have lapped slightly quicker after claiming the second pole position of his career at the same circuit where he scored the first.

The Red Bull driver claimed pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after his team mate Max Verstappen was sidelined by a driveshaft failure in Q2.

Perez qualified almost half a second faster than Fernando Alonso, who he will share the front row of the grid with. However Perez was only 0.155s quicker than Charles Leclerc, who qualified second but has a 10-place grid penalty.

The pole-winner set his best time on his first run in Q3 and did not improve on his second. He believes there was little room to improve on the lap.

“I went a little bit deep into turn four, but nothing major,” said Perez. “It was already a very clean lap. But I think as the track was improving there should have been a little bit more to come.”

He failed to improve on his second run after locking a wheel up at turn one. “It has been really tricky always starting the lap into one and two, it was so easy just to lose two tenths straight away there,” he said.

“Especially with the low downforce that we are running, just nailing that combination of corners we required a lot of temperature on our tyres as well.”

Perez’s only previous pole position came at the same circuit 12 months ago. He said it was an especially satisfying track to drive an F1 car at.

“In Jeddah I enjoy it a lot,” said Perez. “When you have a good car that you can push around this place and you really feel the F1 car is coming alive and getting a clean, good lap you know when you nail it.

“That Q3 run one was quite a good jump from all my previous laps and that meant that I was able to get the pole because my second lap I didn’t managed to get it.”

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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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5 comments on “Perez says he could have gone “a little bit” faster after second pole position”

  1. Unfortunately, that little bit cost him a pole time faster than 1:28.200, i.e., last season’s equivalent.

  2. With Verstappen out, RB unlocked the full beans function….;)

  3. Yes, you have to… If your team mate can go little bit faster, you should

  4. He did seem to be fairly conservative on his Q3 runs. A smart strategy actually, especially since Leclerc suddenly went way, way faster than he had in any session whether in practice or Q1/Q2. That lap seemed to come out of nowhere.

  5. Watching the onboard of Perez’s pole is one of the worst pole laps I’ve ever seen. It was a complete mess until the final sector and he wasn’t even close to pushing the walls. That Red Bull is clearly in another league if that bad of a lap can be pole. I really want to see onboards of Leclerc, Russell, and Piastri because those were genuinely good laps.

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