Perez admits “horrible” Australian GP qualifying “really knocked my confidence”

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez says he is rebuilding his confidence after his disastrous Saturday at the Australian Grand Prix four weeks ago.

The Red Bull driver was eliminated in the first round of qualifying at Melbourne after skidding off at turn three. He encountered persistent trouble braking at several points around the circuit during the preceding practice session.

He enjoyed a smoother qualifying in session in Baku, taking third on the grid, having been just a tenth of a second slower than team mate Max Verstappen. “It’s much better being P3 than not even making it through Q1,” he reflected afterwards.

“I think I’m getting back my confidence,” said Perez. “It really knocked my confidence quite a bit, if I’m honest, what happened in Melbourne.

“Especially with a three-week break and then you go straight into qualifying, pretty much. It’s all about braking here, having that confidence on the braking and I think I’m getting there.”

Going into this weekend Perez said his Melbourne struggles “obviously stay in the back of your mind” but he had gained some understanding of what had gone wrong.

“You have to reset yourself and move on from that. I think there were many specific issues that we had, all that day.

“It was a horrible day that Saturday, FP3 and quali, really bad. But I think we understood a lot of the problems that we had.

“It was not just a single problem that would be really easy just to get rid of. It was a combination of a few things that caused us to have these problems.”

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2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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