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Perez misses Q2 cut after tyre gamble

The decision to remain on slick tyres cost Sergio Perez, and others, a shot at making it through to final qualifying session at the Australian Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez was the big name casualty of the delayed second qualifying session at the Australian Grand Prix after a gamble on slick tyres backfired.

The Mexican was the first to try the supersoft Pirelli compound on a damp but drying track, and even fitted a second set after flat-spotting his right-front, but the decision was not the right one and he floundered to 15th overall.

McLaren has been expected to struggle in the battle to make Q3, but team-mate Jenson Button – a three-time winner at Albert Park – quickly ditched his slicks for another set of intermediates and made the cut with a late run to P4.

Perez was joined in missing the cut by Nico Hulkenberg, who was relegated by Button's final effort and just missed the chequered flag to get a chance at a reply, Adrian Sutil, Jean-Eric Vergne, Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas. Vergne and Bottas also gambled on slicks as times tumbled, but both were caught out by the lack of grip on the far side of the circuit.

In what was something of a lottery at the top of the timesheets, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg again emerged fastest of all, the German having said overnight that he'd be happy for it to keep raining. Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton both posted late laps to complete the top three, while Button, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Paul di Resta, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean all made it through to the pole position shoot-out.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
16.03.2013- Free Practice 3, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
16.03.2013- Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren Honda MCL32
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director.
Front suspension Mercedes Petronas AMG F1 W08. 
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes Petronas AMG F1 W08. 
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes Petronas AMG F1 W08. 
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes Petronas AMG F1 W08. 

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Clone - Unregistered

March 17, 2013 12:39 AM

The drying track in Q2 and especially Q3 showed the true pace of the cars. Red Bulls miles ahead. Mercedes seem to be best of the rest with the Ferraris and Lotus. McLaren are miles behind.

NeweyisyoirDaddy - Unregistered

March 17, 2013 1:36 AM

Nogrip and twitmarsh are just no good , this year you will see them exposed for how crap they really are. to be honest i feel sorry for perez he probably was having wet dreams over driving the maclaren car thinking in 2013 that he will win races and maybe a shot for the chamionship lol now look out qualified by his old team

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