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Sergio Perez

Perez: 'I messed up' vital qualifying lap

Sergio Perez will start the Bahrain Grand Prix from fifth place on the grid, sharing the third row with Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso.

Perez Bahrain
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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Sergio Perez has reacted positively to his first qualifying run behind the RB20 despite a mistake that he feels cost him a front-row starting position.

Perez is set to line-up in fifth place on Saturday having set a lap time over four-tenths down on teammate Max Verstappen, who secured pole position.

Qualifying was a major weakness for Perez last year as he missed out on progressing into the final stage of the grid-setting segment on nine occasions.

The Mexican had no issues making it into Q3 on Friday in Bahrain to post the fifth fastest time - but was left to rue an error on his final attempt.

“It’s been a positive day for the team,” Perez told media including RacingNews365.

“From my side, I messed up Turn 1, lost a tenth and a bit and that was enough to take [away] probably P2 or P3.

“It was also a shame that we lost the second set [of Softs] in Q2 without a need. We ended up aborting [the lap], it was already a scrubbed tyre. But anyway, there are plenty of things to look forward to tomorrow.”

Perez finding more comfort with RB20

Perez was often at odds with Red Bull's challenger last year and found the car more unpredictable and difficult to drive as it developed throughout the season.

Following his first experience in a competitive environment with the RB20, Perez has noticed improved steps and feels more comfortable behind the wheel.

“I feel there is good potential and there is good understanding,” he said.

“We’re making good progress, it’s the first time we ran [the car] at light fuel, and even through qualifying, we were making some good progress. It’s a shame that in the end, we didn't get to show it.

“But I think we are in a much better position and also our race pace is better. So let's see where we end up [in the race].

“I think the entry stability is better. It's obviously still a Red Bull car but I think we're taking a good step.”

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