Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023

Turn five error ended my chance of reaching Q3 – Perez

2023 Spanish Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez says his qualifying session was effectively over after his trip through the gravel at turn five before his elimination in Q2.

The Red Bull driver was knocked out in Q2 in 11th place. Nico Hulkenberg beat him to the final place in Q3 by 0.051 seconds.

It is the second successive event in which Perez failed to reach Q3, following his crash during qualifying last weekend in Monaco.

Perez lost the rear of his car on the way into turn five during one of his final push laps of the session, bouncing through the gravel trap. He had enough time to start another lap before the chequered flag, and gained three tenths on his previous best time, but it was not enough to secure passage through to the final session.

Speaking to media including RaceFans after the session, Perez said the mistake at turn five had ultimately cost him his place in the top 10.

“The conditions were tricky and I ended up losing the car into turn five,” Perez explained. “Once we lost it, the tyres were too warm, too hot, and I couldn’t get them back to a good temperature window and I just didn’t have the grip on my final lap, which was a shame.”

Perez’s team mate Max Verstappen took pole position, which threatens to drop Perez even further behind Verstappen in the championship in tomorrow’s race. Asked by RaceFans whether the revised final sector of the Barcelona track reintroduced this weekend would make it easier or harder for him, Perez said he expects it will be an advantage.

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“That should help us or help the racing in general,” he said. “Although it’s quite a fast corner and the tyres are really sensitive to temperature, so that can be quite tricky.

“I think there are a lot of cars out of position, so it can be an interesting race going for tomorrow.”

His chances of regaining lost places are at least better at the Circuit de Catalunya than they were a week ago, Perez admitted.

“It is frustrating, but it’s not Monaco,” he said. “It’s a race where we can race and we can get a lot of points tomorrow.”

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2023 Spanish Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
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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2 comments on “Turn five error ended my chance of reaching Q3 – Perez”

  1. True, setting a slowish time and then spinning out into gravel with a few minutes remaining in Q2 isn’t ideal for progression.

    1. BW (@deliberator)
      4th June 2023, 5:46

      Perez, trying to outdrive his talent again in pursuit of MV.
      As I have said before in other comments sections, he really ought to focus on 2nd in the driver’s title and snap out of his pipe dream aspirations of challenging for the title.

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