Force India's Sergio Perez says he is "a bit angry" with himself that his crash in final practice will cost him his front row start for the European Grand Prix.
Perez finished the top-ten shootout as Nico Rosberg's nearest challenger, the only man within a second of the Mercedes. However after putting his Force India into the barriers at Turn 15 right at the end of FP3, the Mexican picked up a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, something that will drop him to seventh on the grid and the fourth row.
“Obviously I am a bit angry still with my mistake this morning, but very happy and yeah it does [feel a bit like a pole],” said the Mexican.
“I mean the effort that the whole team has done, especially all my boys today to put car together [again] to first of all be able to make qualifying [was great].
“So, I think it is a mix of feelings for me today. I think the lap we put together in Q3 was very, very strong and it was a very difficult session for me because there is not a lot of time after a crash and you lose some confidence and to get it back and to get in the rhythm again, it was great.
“Very pleased with that and hopefully tomorrow we can do a lot of progress and aim for a rostrum position.
“I think definitely the team deserved more because obviously with the penalty I am starting seventh, so I think the team deserves more than this and hopefully tomorrow we can put together a strong race.”
Perez also added that while Force India thought Baku might be good for them, they didn't believe the package would be this competitive.
“I think we were expecting ourselves to be strong around here, but not that good,” he confirmed, “and to come away with P2 on this track, it is so easy to make a mistake, and so easy to clip the wall and damage your car - unfortunately it happened to me at the worse possible time in final practice. So, I think we have to look forward for tomorrow [now] and try and do a strong race.”
Looking to the race, Perez expects it to be an incident filled grand prix: “Tomorrow I think you are going to see some crashes and some mistakes. Hopefully not me again, but there will obviously be mistakes around here, because it is so difficult and we are all pushing to the maximum,” he explained. “Hopefully we can put together a great race and make a lot of progress and who knows what can happen. There is going to be a lot going on in this race and hopefully we can do a strong performance.”