Sergio Perez lamented a mistake that cost him a shot at qualifying higher for his home Mexico City Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver was 0.257s off the pole time set by Charles Leclerc in fifth place, with team-mate Max Verstappen in third after he went 0.097s slower than Leclerc.
Perez starts behind Daniel Ricciardo, but the home favourite believes that he would have been higher up the grid if Red Bull's Q2 strategy was slightly different, leaving him only one run on fresh C5 tyres in the pole position shootout.
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Perez: We lost a [tyre] set in Q2
"[It was] very fine margins, actually. I think the progression that we had through qualifying wasn't great, especially Q3," Perez told F1 TV.
"We lost a [tyre] set in Q2, we put another lap on it, and just the progression in Q3 I felt like it could have been quite a lot better.
"Tomorrow it is a long race ahead, so anything can really happen. It will be an interesting one and let's see what we are able to do."