Perez admits matching Verstappen was “not possible” in F1 Saudi Arabian GP qualifying, as he starts P3

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool
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Sergio Perez will try to secure his second Saudi Arabia GP win in a row starting from the second row, right behind his teammate and championship leader Max Verstappen in the second leg of the first double-header of the year.

Despite all his efforts, the Red Bull driver was unable to find his way to the front row as his second attempt during Q3 wasn’t enough to improve on his previous attempt, leaving him vulnerable to Leclerc’s improvement. 

The Ferrari driver was only 0.016s faster, but that was enough to miss out on his first front row start since the Miami Grand Prix last year.

The Mexican driver has achieved a better starting spot compared to the one in the first qualifying session of the year last Friday, but it wasn’t enough for Perez to be pleased with himself as he said in the post-qualifying interview:

Didn’t get much of an improvement on the final lap, which is I think why we missed the first row.”

Perez went on to praise his teammate, who has already scored his second pole of 2024 in two races.

Max has done a temendous lap, that was not possible for me today. I think being in the front row was achievable but we’re still in the fight for tomorrow, it’s going to be a long race,” added the former Racing Point driver, looking forward to the race tomorrow and hoping to challenge his Dutch teammate for the victory.

Perez was also asked about the tight duels that will happen tomorrow in Jeddah, especially at the front of the field between himself, Leclerc and Verstappen for the top spots on the high-speed street circuit:

It will be quite interesting, it will be a long, fun race. There will be plenty of action, the cars around us are very close, so it will be a very interesting battle.”