Perez: Last-corner mistake cost me pole in Imola qualifying

Sergio Perez was left ruing a final-corner mistake during Formula 1 qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, saying he “should have been on pole”.

Perez: Last-corner mistake cost me pole in Imola qualifying

Perez bounced back from a difficult Friday that saw him crash into Esteban Ocon in FP1 and struggle to feature with the frontrunners in FP2 by qualifying second at Imola.

It marked Perez’s best-ever F1 qualifying result, beating his previous best starting position of third, as he fell just 0.035 seconds shy of pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton’s lap time.

But Perez believed he did have the pace to snatch pole position away for Red Bull in the dying moments of qualifying after Hamilton failed to improve on his final lap.

“I should have been on pole today," Perez said.

“I did a mistake on my final corner, so I think it's everything positive.

“We just have to make sure that we keep progressing, and tomorrow is what matters."

Perez was satisfied with how he managed to recover from the incident on Friday with Ocon, for which no action was taken by the stewards, and admitted he was surprised by the turnaround over the weekend.

Marshals remove the car of Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Marshals remove the car of Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“I have to say well done to the team," Perez said. “Yesterday I made a mistake and I made them work hard during the day, so it's a good recovery.

“But the most important is always showing progress. I never expected to be here today where we were yesterday. We've been improving, but it's just important to be P2."

Perez will start Sunday’s race on the soft compound tyre, giving him a theoretical pace advantage over Hamilton and team-mate Max Verstappen, who starts third, in the opening stint.

“I think anything can happen tomorrow," Perez said. “We are on a different strategy to Lewis and Max. And so, it's gonna be interesting to see what we can do.

“Most important [is to] get those points, get battling, which is priority at the moment."

Verstappen was just 0.087 seconds shy of Hamilton’s benchmark, but was also left ruing a scrappy final lap in Q3 that cost him a possible front-row spot, calling it “not so good".

“In Q3 I went off at Turn 3, so a bit messy, just not a great lap, but it can’t be good every time," Verstappen said.

“We'll see what went wrong, but it was definitely not the easiest thing. But still P3, which is a good starting position.

“It’s going to be interesting because we have the two cars on different tyres so let's see how that will work out.

“We'll try to make it difficult for [Mercedes]."

shares
comments
F1 Emilia Romagna GP: Hamilton grabs pole from Perez, Verstappen

Previous article

F1 Emilia Romagna GP: Hamilton grabs pole from Perez, Verstappen

Next article

Hamilton never expected to outqualify both Red Bulls at Emilia Romagna GP

Hamilton never expected to outqualify both Red Bulls at Emilia Romagna GP
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Emilia Romagna GP
Drivers Sergio Perez
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Luke Smith
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021