Force India's Sergio Perez: 'Screw up' behind early qualifying exit

Sergio Perez says he and Racing Point Force India "screwed up" by not making a second run to prevent his Q1 exit in qualifying for Formula 1's Italian Grand Prix

Force India's Sergio Perez: 'Screw up' behind early qualifying exit

Perez appeared to be well inside the cut-off after the first runs in Q1 and the team elected to keep him in the garage to save tyres.

But while he sat in the car he gradually slipped down the order after a remarkable final few minutes that produced a gap of less than a tenth of a second splitting 10th down to 17th.

Perez was shuffled down to 15th by a margin of 0.001s to Haas's Romain Grosjean, and the Mexican admits that the team had misjudged rival improvements and that his first lap was insufficient.

"We had a little miscalculation there with the tow effect and the track evolving," Perez said when asked by Autosport. "I was two-tenths from seventh, so the margin was really small.

"But at the same time I should have done a better lap, so we screwed up together. I hope that tomorrow we can minimise the damage and hopefully score some points.

"I was actually speaking with the team about what we can do better with the balance and so on, and I was looking at a lot of people going green, green, green.

"Everyone was very optimistic, I was and the team. And then I saw that things didn't work out. I mean we lost out by a millisecond, I was really unlucky."

Perez conceded that the situation was made worse by the car's potential at Monza and the team's need to bolster its points total after starting from zero at Spa.

"Today was a massive blow for myself and the team, given how strong the pace of the car was the whole weekend. We definitely had the pace to be best of the rest, and especially being in a good position for tomorrow.

"It hurts, it hurts a lot. It's been a difficult afternoon, we have to try to digest everything and focus on tomorrow.

"That's my target, get away and don't think too much about what happened today."

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