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Formula 1

Perez: Q1 elimination is 'really, really hard' to digest

A frustrated Sergio Perez missed his final Q1 attempt at Zandvoort after running out of time due to traffic.

Perez Zandvoort 2021
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool / Getty Images

Red Bull's Sergio Perez was a surprise elimination from Q1 at Zandvoort, as the Mexican dropped out after failing to put in a final flying lap and missing the huge amount of track evolution seen during the first part of qualifying.

With teammate Max Verstappen taking pole position in the sister car, a rueful Perez knew an opportunity had been missed after he was unable to start his final flying lap on time due to the cars ahead slowing the pace on the outlap.

"It hurts, it hurts really badly," Perez told media, including RacingNews365.com, after the session.

"It's really, really hard to digest this one with the level of car we have underneath us, but there's nothing I can do now. I am certain we will learn from it and just move on.

"Things happen, I think our cut-off wasn't expecting this track evolution that we had at the end of Q1. And we probably had too much fuel for that first run. We were monitoring lap times from other people, and then we realised that we were in a bit of a mess and we didn't manage to complete the lap.

"I think we missed out [on starting the lap] by a second and a half, or something like that, which is extremely frustrating, because we definitely had the pace today to be on the front row.

"I think I was progressing well, I was feeling more comfortable as the run was progressing. And it was a massive blow for us. Tomorrow, it's going to be a very hard one. But I look forward to try and score something and minimise the damage.

"I think we left the garage with two minutes left, we had plenty of time. But yeah, people [were trying] to make the gap on the pit lane. So a lot of factors, putting them together, that cost a lot."

It's the latest in a long line of mishaps for Perez, after the Red Bull driver crashed out on a reconnaissance lap in Belgium last week.

Asked by RacingNews365.com why the mishaps are always on his side of the garage, Perez said: "Well, I think we are new, we have a new group of people in the team, so we're just getting on top of things. Belgium was where there were two examples of things we could have done better.

"We're just learning and, with time, we're making sure that we learn from our mistakes, as this is how we will get stronger as a team."

Qualifying in 16th, Red Bull are likely to take an engine penalty and introduce the expected fourth engine on Perez's side of the garage after losing one from their pool due to the Hungarian first lap crash.

With Perez set to start from the very back, or possibly even the pitlane, he knows he's in for a long afternoon at a track where it's difficult to pass the car in front.

"I think we're facing a race that no one really knows what to expect, there are a lot of things that will happen coming up so, yeah, let's see what happens," he said.

"It's a circuit that demands a lot from the drivers so, yeah, anything will be possible tomorrow. It will be hard to overtake, it will be hard to follow, but we just have to stay and do our race as good as possible."

Also interesting:

Video: The secrets of the the new Zandvoort F1 circuit

Follow Rudy van Buren as he takes you on a flying lap around the home of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

F1 2021 Dutch Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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