Sergio Perez: Tyre temps behind 'disappointing' Q1 exit

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez said his failure to generate enough tyre temperature caused his Q1 elimination at the Styrian GP.

Perez had been talked about as a contender for pole ahead of qualifying for the Styrian GP, but nevermind pole, he wasn’t even able to make it out of the first session.

The RP20’s impressive pace went missing as the rain fell at the Red Bull Ring, leaving Perez P17 on the grid.

The Mexican believed he had the pace for Q2, but said the late red flags after Antonio Giovinazzi’s incident caught him out after struggling to get the full wets up to temperature.

“It’s a big disappointment,” he said.

“You know we were on for a great weekend as we have great pace in the dry. But in the wet we couldn’t find our rhythm.

“I struggled a lot to generate any tyre temperature. It took me two to three laps to generate the temperature and at the end I was coming on a good lap but then the red flag stopped that lap. There’s nothing we can do now other than think forward for tomorrow.”

Perez remains hopeful for the race, but also said it will likely be difficult to make “any progress”.

“It’s going be difficult to make any progress to overtake, but certainly we have a good car underneath us, so we will try everything,” he explained.

“I think we’ve done it before, so hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.”

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Perez’s team-mate Lance Stroll made it into Q2, but managed only P13, though that will become P12 thanks to Charles Leclerc’s penalty.

He said that Racing Point “faded” in Q2 and is searching for the reason why.

“I don’t know what happened at the end,” said the Canadian.

“We kind of faded in Q2. There was a loss of grip at the end of Q2 and I just wasn’t able to progress the lap time.

“I think we started quite strong. We were comfortable in Q1 and then the beginning of Q2. We were looking competitive, but we just lost a lot of grip on the last set in Q2 and the others managed to improve, so I’m not sure, we have to look into why that was.”

Perez himself escaped a grid penalty after the stewards cleared him of ignoring yellow flags.

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