Formula One

Sergio Perez rues strategy error after new qualifying disappointment – All his recent struggles

Sergio Perez in his garage during the weekend at Silverstone
Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Sergio Perez failed to reach Q3 for the fifth Grand Prix in a row and the pressure keeps mounting on his shoulders as he keeps falling further and further back in the championship. In the meantime, Max Verstappen took his fifth consecutive pole position in 2023.

Today he was caught out by being the first car to complete a lap on a track that was rapidly improving in terms of speed, after a drizzle earlier had made it slightly wet. He eventually missed out on Q2 by just 19 thousandths of a second to Fernando Alonso. Alex Albon was the second to cross the line though and was able to go half a second faster than the Mexican.

Recent woes for Sergio Perez

In recent races, Sergio Perez has had a woeful run, especially when it comes to qualifying. Here are his struggles in the last six weekends:

  • Miami: Perez entered the race six points behind Max Verstappen, having won the sprint and the Grand Prix in Baku. Although he was able to qualify on pole position (in the last time he made Q3 up to today), he was beaten in the race convincingly by his teammate, who had started ninth after a late red flag in Q3 ruined his chances.     
  • Monaco: A crash during Q1 at the first corner meant he started the race in last place, at the most difficult track in terms of overtaking. A troublesome race in the wet saw him finish sixteenth.
  • Spain: After slow banker laps during Q2, an excursion during his last flying attempt saw him start in eleventh. A steady recovery meant he was able to finish fourth, but behind George Russell, who started twelfth.
  • Canada: Perez and Red Bull managed the changeable conditions during Q2 in completely the wrong way and as a result he qualified twelfth. In the race, he was only able to recover six places.
  • Austria: With track limits being monitored very strictly, Perez amazingly had all three of his efforts deleted. All three were good enough for him to get promoted to Q3, but he started fifteenth. He made his best recovery recently, as he finished third. He was also second in the sprint, albeit 21 seconds behind Verstappen.
  • Great Britain: Caught out by a drying track, he was eliminated in Q1 and is set to start sixteenth.

In his five last races, Perez has had an average qualifying position of 14.8, while Verstappen has won the previous four from pole position and is looking to repeat the feat.

Sergio Perez talks about his qualifying session at Silverstone

While light rain started dropping during Q1 at Silverstone, Sergio Perez was just fourteenth and in danger of getting eliminated. A red flag was then brought out after Kevin Magnussen stopped his Haas on track and halted the session for a few minutes. Perez lined up first in the pitlane, to make sure he got to secure a place in Q2.

However, with the drizzle over, the track conditions improved rapidly, leaving Perez out. He will start tomorrow’s race in sixteenth. He talked about his session with F1 TV:

Terrible, terrible session. Towards the end I think the red flag lasted longer than we thought and we stood waiting for quite a long time and I just couldn’t put enough temperature into the tyre.

In these tricky conditions it’s where I struggle the most with the car, so it is something for us to understand as well.

Perez showed good long run speed on Friday and, with Silverstone being an overtaking-friendly track, he should be able to have a good recovery.

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