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Sergio Perez

Perez pinpoints where he thinks pole was lost in Baku

Sergio Perez believes that "a couple more tenths" were achievable in his final run in qualifying after being hampered by engine problems in the garage.

Perez Baku
To news overview © XPB

Sergio Perez believes that a lack of slipstream might have cost him a chance of challenging for pole position at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

With most drivers trying to follow a car down the long main straight in order to profit from a slipstream, Perez was unable to use this to his advantage on his crucial final qualifying lap.

The Red Bull driver was delayed in exiting the pits due to an 'engine issue' on his RB18. This put him out of sequence and running without a slipstream from another car, but he still achieved a front row grid spot with second place, behind Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

Speaking after qualifying, Perez rued missing out on optimal track position for his final run.

"It was not an ideal qualifying because at the end we had a problem with the engine. We couldn't turn it on, and that meant that we lost [time]," Perez told Sky Sports F1.

"I was basically on my own [without a slipstream] and that's very powerful around here.

"Who knows if it would have been enough for pole, and certainly we lost a few tenths, but I think Charles had a very good lap."

Perez: I pushed a little bit too hard

With the battle for pole position intensifying, both Ferrari and Red Bull drivers were guilty of pushing their cars too close to the walls for comfort.

Perez conceded afterwards that he perhaps pushed his car beyond the limits in Baku.

"When we got to Q3, that's when you go balls out and it was a little bit too much," added Perez.

"I hit the wall a couple of times. Luckily, we managed to survive, which is the key here."

With Safety Cars and incidents commonplace at the Baku City Circuit, Perez added that minimising mistakes would be key to his fortunes in the race.

"I think tomorrow is a very long race, so we just have to make sure we are there," he explained.

"It's a very long race, at any point you can make a mistake and that's it."

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F1 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix RN365 News dossier