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Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2023

Perez jokes F1 will seek wrestling ring on track after 'fast and furious' Sprint Shootout

The Mexican will start the Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint from second on the grid after losing out to Charles Leclerc in SQ3.

Perez Baku
To news overview © XPBimages

Sergio Perez has joked F1 will seek to add a "ring in the middle of the track" for drivers to fight after securing second on the grid for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint.

Drivers arrived on track immediately faced with a crucial session with the inaugural Sprint Shootout determining the grid for the 100km sprint.

Perez had qualified third for the grand prix during Friday's qualifying but went one better on Saturday morning, putting together a cleaner run than teammate Max Verstappen to sit behind Charles Leclerc's Ferrari.

Assessing his session, Perez explained: "The track was very different and just getting a set on the soft was really challenging and getting rhythm on the medium tyre as well.

"It was a tricky session, just having a bit more of a clean run on my lap would have helped me to get pole with Charles hitting the wall, but they were just a bit stronger than us over one lap so hopefully, this afternoon, we will be able to close the gap and beat them on race pace.

"That will be the target for this afternoon and also for tomorrow."

Sprint Shootout enjoyable

The new format was only approved in the days prior to the weekend with F1's sprint initiative tweaked to optimise excitement for the fans.

With no FP2 this weekend as the second qualifying was introduced, Perez conceded: "It was fast and furious.

"It won't be long before they put a ring in the middle of the track and get all the drivers in a fight. It was enjoyable though."

F1 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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