Perez and Horner react to woeful qualifying calamity in Las Vegas

Sergio Perez tumbled out of Q2 for the ninth time this season after an odd call from Red Bull in qualifying for the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Las Vegas Grand Prix, Las Vegas, Nevada,
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19. Formula 1 World Championship,…

Red Bull’s call to not complete a second run at the end of Q2, and a decision to bring only three sets of tyres into qualifying, cost Perez who must start from 11th.

The strategy from the constructors’ champions - who have Max Verstappen starting from second in the race - was criticised.

The under-pressure Perez explained to Sky: “That was basically our strategy from the beginning. 

“It’s obviously a new track and it caught us out, unfortunately. 

“It’s something we will discuss internally to understand what happened.

“We were unlucky in Q1, managed to get through. Plenty of things to analyse from that.”

Perez said about the temperature being crucial in the grand prix: “It will be an interesting race, there are a lot of things that can happen. We will see.”

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said about Perez’s bad day in qualifying: “He went a little early. 

“We only took three sets of tyres into qualifying. To try and avoid getting caught in traffic on the last lap. 

“He did the lap a little early, and was a tenth short.”

Jenson Button reacted to that strategy: “The worry is a yellow flag, right at the end. 

“But I don’t know why they didn’t have more tyres. 

“That was the issue, having just three sets in qualifying. That’s why they struggled.”

Danica Patrick said about Perez: “He tends to go out early in qualifying. And it’s not his strong suit. 

“So I feel like a different approach would have been good. 

“And at a track like this, it just keeps getting faster. It was a mistake.”

Ferrari’s brilliant performance in practice and qualifying in Las Vegas means they are perfectly set up to rip away another victory from Red Bull.

They are already the only other team to have won a grand prix this year.

“What we saw yesterday, Ferrari were very quick over a lap,” Horner said. 

“The characteristics of their car, they work the tyre harder, so we expected that to be honest. Well done to Charles, it makes for an interesting race tomorrow.”

Horner was asked if Verstappen can expect, as he usually does, to warm into the race before eventually dominating: “I think it will be different here. 

“But it’s a track you can definitely overtake on. It’s going to make it interesting.”

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