Sergio Perez has warned F1 qualifying in Bahrain is “unrepresentative” of each teams' competitiveness due to high degradation likely being the dominating factor in Sunday's grand prix.

Perez qualified ‘best of the rest’ in fifth behind the two Mercedes and two Red Bulls.

Going into this weekend, Racing Point holds a five-point lead over McLaren in the constructors' championship and an 18-point lead over Renault, with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon set to start just behind Perez on the grid.

The Mexican admits qualifying fifth was better than he anticipated after struggling in final practice.

“Was definitely a strong performance today, what really made our qualifying was the fact we managed to get through in Q1 with one set, so having two sets in Q3 I think helped a bit the performance to get the maximum out of the car, we are in a good position for tomorrow,” Perez said.

“It’s always the thing after quali it’s easy to see [how much time we lost]. I think getting that three-tenths [improvement] was going to very difficult with the tyre basically. We’ve been struggling with the usage of the tyre with using too much through the lap. I am pleased. I was expecting a bit worse of a qualifying but I think Q1 really made our qualifying.”

Given that high tyre degradation is expected in Sunday’s race, Perez believes qualifying isn’t a true representation of how each team will fare in the race.

“Qualifying is unrepresentative here. I think having a good consistent pace tomorrow will make your race so we will see what we are able to do. I am pretty confident. I think we have a good car underneath us for tomorrow so I am looking forward to it.”

Lance Stroll could only manage to qualify 13th on the grid behind the two Ferraris.

The Canadian believes Racing Point made the wrong decision to run him on used medium tyres in Q2 having run on another set of mediums in Q1, then at the start of Q2 before the red flag period.

“We had the wrong tyres on the car,” Stroll said. “It was no one’s fault. I think there was a miscommunication on timing as I thought we’d have time for two runs so we only had time for one run and it was on an old set of mediums because we used one in Q1 and then we did a lap before the red flag in Q2, and then we went back on that same set whereas the others had a new set so there was no chance to get close.

”Unfortunately, that was a bad call.”

 

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