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Formula 1 Spanish GP

Horner: Q2 off left Perez "unsettled" ahead of final F1 qualifying run

Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner believes Sergio Perez being left "unsettled" by his off during Q2 in Spanish Grand Prix qualifying led to the Mexican being knocked out.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Having started last in Monaco after a crash in Q1, Perez again had a torrid time in Barcelona, scraping through to Q2 in 15th place and then going off into the gravel at Turn 5 late in Q2.

Although he had time for another run, he struggled to get his tyres in the right window and could only qualify 11th, 10 place behind pole-winning team-mate Max Verstappen.

"Unfortunately, the off that he had in Q2, I think it just unsettled him a little," Horner told Sky F1.

"And it was one of those days for him. So P11 for him tomorrow leaves him with quite a bit to do."

Explaining his struggles, Perez said: "I think mainly it was Turn 5.

"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.

"Conditions were tricky. And I ended up losing the car into Turn 5. It was tough, it was pretty tough out there to get everything in the right place."

Echoing the views of second place starter Carlos Sainz, who predicted that Perez can still secure a 1-2 finish for Red Bull, Horner believes the Mexican can still turn things around in Sunday's race.

"I think it's a matter of just picking him up," he said. "I mean, the points are scored on Sunday.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

"It's obviously harder for him starting from that grid position, but he can still have a great race from there.

"We know he's a great racer, and he's just got to get his head down, and hopefully we can come up with a good strategy and make some good progress.

"I think it's going to be fascinating strategy-wise to see who picks what strategy, who picks what tyres for the start of the grand prix.

"And I think that's what will come into play tomorrow it's all going to be about tyre deg, unless of course it's raining."

Horner insisted that there was no difference between the potential of the two RB19s despite Perez struggling more than Verstappen.

"I think the tyres are a crucial factor," said Horner.

"We checked all the aero loads after Q1. So the support that we have back in the factory, they were able to look at the analysis between the two cars, are the cars generating the same amount of downforce?

"And they were like-for-like, so we couldn't see anything, any part misbehaving.

"Obviously, we'll do a big inspection this evening, but I think it was just about getting the tyres in the window, because we know Checo's not that far off. It's just that he didn't get the car working today."

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Perez expects the removal of the unpopular final chicane, making for higher speeds through the long fast corner onto the start-finish straight, will make it easier to progress through the field.

However, some drivers have predicted it will require drivers to save their tyres due to the extra wear imposed by the speed increase and therefore may not produce the expected upswing in passing.

"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."

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