Perez says struggles with “entry stability” led to massive gap to Verstappen in F1 Japanese GP quali

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Red Bull Racing entered the Suzuka circuit with high hopes of bouncing back from a disappointing outing at the Singapore Grand Prix. However, the weekend didn’t unfold as smoothly as Perez has anticipated, with Max Verstappen dominating his teammate throughout the practice sessions and qualifying. Perez ended up lapping 0.773 seconds slower than his teammate and starting fifth.

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Perez noted that having access to only one fresh pair of soft tyres for Q3 had placed him at a disadvantage. He believed that a front row starting position was within reach if he hadn’t been forced to use an extra set of new tyres in Q2. This strategic setback, combined with Verstappen’s exceptional performance, contributed to Perez’s less favorable qualifying position.

“I think definitely P2, front row, was on the cards today.

“Just missing that second set in Q2, when he used an extra set was not ideal and that put us on the back foot to the McLaren mainly by just having a one set of new tyres. That was not ideal.”

The Mexican driver acknowledged that he had not kept up with Verstappen’s pace for the whole of the weekend, adding:“It was hard, We kind of were always two steps behind and we just couldn’t get the entry stability I was looking to get over a single lap.

However, despite the difficulties in qualifying, Perez expressed optimism about the race itself, anticipating a tyre degradation battle on Sunday, adding:“But come race day I think we are looking a lot better. I think that tomorrow is going to be such a degradation tyre battle that hopefully tomorrow we can still be able to do a one-two.”

Most analysits believe that the race day conditions could favour Red Bull Racing. With the RB19 gentle on tyres and having an impeccable strategy team, the stage is set for an exciting and potentially redemption-filled day for Red Bull Racing on Sunday.