Sergio Perez has rued his luck after being denied a front-row slot for the São Paulo Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver has come under intense scrutiny for a string of lacklustre performances this season and, after crashing out of his home race in Mexico at the first corner last weekend, entered the Interlagos Sprint event determined.
Having been near-equal to teammate Max Verstappen throughout Friday's running, Perez was on par with the Dutchman again in the sole run of Q3 as a storm rolled in.
But with McLaren's Oscar Piastri going off at Junção, Perez was forced to slow for yellow flags and was unable to get a second lap in before the session was red-flagged.
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Perez: We were incredibly unlucky today
"We were just incredibly unlucky today, I should have been in the front row," Perez said after finishing ninth fastest.
"My lap was very close to Max's until the last corner and I found Piastri, so I had to back up my lap.
"I was very unfortunate because I felt that we could have done a lot better today."