“We can definitely have a strong rhythm” — Perez confident he can take the fight to Verstappen in F1 Chinese GP

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool
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Sergio Perez had an extremely messy Q1 as he got involved in traffic with the Williams of Albon at turn 1 as he started a fast lap.

It saw him in dead last until the final 3 minutes where his second push lap of a 1.35.457 ultimately placed him P15, just above the drop zone of Q1 by 0.048s. 

“Yeah, it was very intense. I nearly got knocked out in Q1. I had a traffic with one of the Williams.

“I had trouble with my lap, came back, go back out on hot used tyres and I just made it through P15. It was just a very messy start to qualifying.”

Things turned the Mexican’s way in Q2 as his second fast lap after the red flag that was waved due to Sainz’s crash into the barriers. A 1.34.026 securing the second spot, 2 tenths off his teammate who was topping the timesheets. 

“And then Q2 was a little bit more straightforward.

“I could really get a read into the balance and we were making some nice progress through the session.”

In Q3, Perez managed to put a clean lap together on a 1.33.982, 3 tenths behind Verstappen, securing a Red Bull front row lockout. 

Perez says that he is satisfied with his qualifying performance, but he conceded that it was not enough to challenge his teammate.

“Unfortunately, in the end, it was just not enough to get Max, but overall it’s a tremendous team result because the track has changed a lot.”

Perez also mentions that the Red Bull has strong pace in terms of race runs and he is looking forward to put up a good fight with Verstappen tomorrow at the Chinese Grand Prix. 

“We can be fighting from there and we can definitely have a strong rhythm. We showed today that we have a fairly good pace in the long run, so I look forward to tomorrow.”