Sergio Perez was 'very happy' after making it through to the final phase of qualifying today in Hungary.
Perez, who has only gotten into the top-ten shootout once before – and that was in Monaco when he was unable to exploit it after his massive shunt in Q3 left him on the sidelines – is now 'hoping' to make the most of it on Sunday and try and score points. He will start tenth on the grid, having opted not to set a time in Q3 and thus save tyres for the race.
“I am very happy. It is the second time that I have made it into Q3 and the first time I can celebrate it,” said the Sauber man, who has finished in the top ten twice thus far in his rookie season.
“My fastest lap in Q2 was a really good one, I think we achieved the maximum possible. The team handled the conditions very well, and the strategy was really good. But all what matters is tomorrow. Our race pace should be good, and I hope I can improve and score some good points.”
Team-mate and team leader Kamui Kobayashi meanwhile will start 13th in the sister car, his best lap in Q2 having been 0.278 seconds slower.
“After we had struggled quite a lot in the free practice this morning, it was much better in qualifying. It was not easy, as we changed the set-up but the conditions also changed,” Kobayashi reflected. “My final lap in Q2 was okay, but I missed to get into Q3. Of course the target for tomorrow is to score points.
“I have the feeling that the life of both tyre compounds is rather short, so this will make it an exciting Grand Prix here.”
“I'm very pleased with Sergio's performance in qualifying,” summarised Sauber technical director, James Key. “We knew from this morning that it was likely to be extremely close, so it was great to get through to Q3. We decided not to do a flying lap in that session. Although possibly we could have made a bit of progress, I think tyre saving will be extremely important tomorrow. We took a strategic decision not to do a timed lap, although he left the pits we decided to bring him in.
“Unfortunately Kamui couldn't make it to Q3, but it was only a matter of tenths. We will look at all possibilities and try to come up with a sensible race strategy and aim for a good points finish tomorrow.”