Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Perez says he "should have been on the front row" in F1 Brazilian GP

Sergio Perez was "very close" to Red Bull Formula 1 team-mate Max Verstappen in qualifying for the 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix until yellow flags forced him to abandon his lap.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Verstappen posted a 1min10.727s flying lap to beat Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc to pole position at Interlagos in a shootout that was red-flagged owing to a thunderstorm hitting the track.

While Q3 was almost entirely dry until the stoppage with four minutes to run, Verstappen reckoned changing wind conditions created "terrible" laps as grip levels disappeared.

McLaren racer Oscar Piastri was caught out by the new-found instability as he lost the rear end of his McLaren MCL60 into the final corner. The Australian rookie had been a credible pole contender after setting the best first sector of anyone.

But as he ran over the grass to trigger yellow flags, the closing Perez was forced to back off from his final flying lap, which he reckons would have put him on the front row alongside his team-mate.

Perez said: "We were just incredibly unlucky today. I should have been on the front row.

"My lap was very close to Max's until the last corner, and I found Piastri so I had to back off my lap.

"It meant that I was just position-nowhere. It's very unfortunate because I felt like we had a lot better."

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Perez's F1 future is the subject of major speculation as he endures a protracted run of poor form.

He is only 20 points ahead of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in the fight to finish runner-up in the championship and has not finished second to his team-mate in a competitive session since the Italian GP in early September.

PLUS: How his home race crash perfectly encapsulates why Perez lost the 2023 F1 title battle

In Brazil, Perez ultimately classified ninth ahead only of McLaren racer Piastri, who did not set a time in Q3 owing to his grassy excursion.

Read Also:

Verstappen's first (18.359s) and second (35.659s) sector times combined for 54.018s. Perez's pair of uninterrupted sectors (18.4611s; 35.835s) added to 54.296s to leave him 0.278s adrift of Verstappen.

That meant he would have theoretically beaten Leclerc (0.294s off) to second place on the grid.

Asked about his prospects of recovering over the rest of the sprint race weekend at Interlagos, Perez said: "I think there are some good points and opportunities to race from here."

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Stroll: Aston Martin made own luck with third in F1 Brazilian GP qualifying
Next article Wolff: Mercedes not “adaptive” enough as it blew Brazil F1 pole chance

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe