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Why qualifying will be crucial for Perez and Red Bull

As he prepares to battle for P2 in the World Championship, Sergio Perez admits that he needs a strong qualifying at the United States Grand Prix in light of a grid penalty.

Sergio Perez admits that he needs a strong qualifying session at the United States Grand Prix after being handed a grid penalty. The Red Bull driver had a fifth Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) fitted in his car ahead of the event at the Circuit of the Americas. With this exceeding the allocated three ICEs per season for a driver, this means that he will take a five-place grid drop. Perez is hopeful that the team gained enough insight during Friday's practice sessions to help them for Saturday, despite Free Practice 2 being unrepresentative due to the hour being allocated as a Pirelli tyre test session.

Perez outlines importance of strong qualifying

"I think we managed to get a good FP1, [we got some] good information," Perez explained after Friday's running. "So hopefully for tomorrow, with a short session, we will be able to get everything right and be able to have a strong qually. "Because, given that we have a penalty, we need a good qually to be able to start as forward as possible." Despite the penalty, Perez is feeling confident about Red Bull's prospects on Sunday. "I believe we can be alright," he added. "It will be very important that we have a strong pace through the weekend."

Areas for improvement

In terms of what he hoped to work on overnight ahead of Saturday's running, Perez outlined some areas for improvement. "I think we have a bit of balance with high-speed versus the low-speed, so I think we need to improve the balance to be able to improve degradation, and everything will come together," the Mexican said. With four races left in the 2022 F1 season, Perez remains in the battle for P2 in the World Championship with Charles Leclerc. Perez currently leads the Ferrari driver by one point.

RESULTS 2024 F1 pre-season testing - Day 2