Sergio Perez has explained his United States Grand Prix qualifying struggles having again failed to trouble the top positions.
The Red Bull driver finished ninth quickest at the Circuit of the Americas, four-and-a-half-tenths down on polesitter, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.
Perez has endured a difficult campaign this year and is currently fighting to ensure he ends the season second in the standings, despite Red Bull's dominant term, but any hope of being able to grow into the weekend was crushed by the second F1 Sprint weekend in a row.
“It wasn't a straightforward one [session]," conceded Perez.
“I was struggling with the balance from low speed to high speed, especially in the low speed. We made some changes that probably didn't help us as much.
“The margins were so tight today that a tenth would've looked so much different in the qualifying [result] but we are on the wrong side of it.
“Hopefully we can have a better Shootout and get some points."
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F1 Sprint challenges
Perez's future in F1 has come under pressure given his inability to extract the most from what has been a dominant car in the RB19, though he has reiterated his 100 per cent commitment to Red Bull for next season.
With just one practice session to build confidence before parc fermé was imposed and qualifying commenced, Perez explained: “That is what happens in these sprint events unfortunately, but it's just part of the challenges so we'll see what we are able to do."
On weather conditions ahead of the rest of the weekend, he added: "We are expecting the wind to change quite a bit.”