Sergio Perez escaped unhurt from the first major incident of a wet Brazilian Grand Prix weekend, but faces starting from row seven of the grid at Interlagos.

The Mexican, in the midst of his last race weekend with the McLaren team, was attempting to rescue his situation when he ran a little wide at the turn five kink and, with his tyres catching the painted kerb, was spat across the road and into a retaining wall.

Although his MP4-28 appeared to take a hard hit and emerged from the condition with damage to both ends, Perez was able to climb out unaided and make his way back to the paddock.

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"My accident looked bigger than it actually was," he insisted, "As soon as I lost the car, I went over the grass and hit the wall, but it was only a slight hit, and the car wasn't too badly damaged.

"It's a pity, but I was giving it my all. I knew it was my last opportunity to set a time; it was getting wetter, and I was pushing right to the limit, because I knew the car wasn't responding well. I was trying my hardest, in other words."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh admitted that the timing of Perez's runs in Q2 could have been better, given the return on the rain to Sao Paulo, but the driver - who had been an encouraging eleventh in Q1 - insisted that there may have been other factors at play.

"It's hard to know for sure, but I think we made the correct decision to run in qualifying when we did," he claimed, "The car just wasn't responding properly. I think perhaps we got the tyre pressures incorrect because I couldn't find enough grip out there."

Despite the frustration - Perez starts one place ahead of team-mate Jenson Button, securing a 10-9 'victory' in terms of qualifying performance across the year's 19 races - the Mexican is confident that he can still challenge for points.

"In similar conditions, I still think we can make up some positions tomorrow," he confirmed, "I'm looking forward to the race and I hope we can end the season on a high."