Sergio Perez says Racing Point had to turn its Formula 1 car “upside-down” to find setup solutions ahead of qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Perez will start tomorrow’s race in Portimao from fifth on the grid, while teammate Lance Stroll could only manage 12th.

Strong winds and the newly re-surfaced track has made it tricky for drivers with a lack of grip being reported throughout the duration of the weekend.

 

 

Reflecting on qualifying fifth, Perez was pleased with the recovery Racing Point had made since Friday practice.

“In those difficult conditions today it was good,” Perez said. “A good performance by the team. Yesterday we were so lost, we changed the car upside down - the tyre preparation and everything. I think we’ve done a pretty good job to come back, being there. It’s a nice position to start the race.”

Perez believes ensuring the tyres don’t overheat will be a crucial factor in tomorrow’s race after the troubles teams faced in qualifying in getting them into the right working window.

“Well, I think outside of the Mercedes and the Red Bull, we are all very together, very much in that mix,” Perez added. “As we saw in Nurburgring, we have to be there, to maximise the performance tomorrow, do a good strategy. I think most of the people don’t have information on the long runs so we don’t know what to expect with these tyres, this track. Still, a lot to play for.

“I think it’s going to be a race of people probably getting the tyres too hot early on and having to pit probably because I expect a lot of the guys have been aggressive with the re-heating levels, the preparation of the tyres.”

 

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