Perez led the way after the first runs in Q3 ahead of Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas.

Verstappen and Hamilton improved on their final laps to demote Perez to third, who couldn’t improve at the end of the session.

Despite making his F1 debut in 2011, pole position has alluded Perez so far in his career.

“I knew that there was some time to find so I thought this could be my day, unfortunately didn’t put it all together in the end when it counted,” Perez said after qualifying.  “But still I think we are in a good position, I think it’s going to be a pretty long race tomorrow, not too concerned about the qualifying, I think there is plenty of opportunities for tomorrow.”

Light drizzle fell at the end of qualifying and Perez believes that could have been why he was unable to better his first lap in Q3.

“I was the last car on track, I felt it did cost me a bit, especially [Turns] 13 and 15, mainly into [Turn] 15 I just couldn’t find any grip, whether that was the increase of rain or didn’t find any grip, but there was quite a lot of rain coming in, probably a bit of confidence going knowing it’s a bit wet, but I felt like I lost quite a bit of time there, was quite a bit faster and just lost my lap time through there,” Perez explained.

Perez has enjoyed one of his strongest weekends of the season, leading two of the three practice sessions in the lead up to qualifying.

The Mexican is eyeing Red Bull’s first 1-2 finish of the season.

“Well to maximise every single opportunity, I think there is a long race ahead of us tomorrow and hopefully we can bring a 1-2 for the team tomorrow,” he added.