Perez blames change to F1 tyre preparation for Q2 exit in Qatar

Sergio Perez has blamed a change of approach by Red Bull on how it prepares its tyres in Qatar for his surprise exit in Q2 in Formula 1 qualifying.
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing.
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing.

Perez only managed 11th in qualifying at the Losail International Circuit - the first time he hasn’t made Q3 since Zandvoort.

Tyre preparation is a key aspect in F1 with teams keen to complete their outlaps as slow - or in some cases fast - as possible to ensure the tyres are in the right window for the duration of the lap.

Perez felt that Red Bull’s new approach didn’t work as his tyres weren’t up to temperature when he started his final lap in Q2.

“We changed a bit our approach with our tyre prep,” he said. “We probably didn’t get on top of it come quali and then we weren’t able to have clean outlaps most of the time and that meant going into sector one I was pretty low with the tyres and the grip.”

When asked about the specific changes Red Bull has made, Perez didn’t want to give too much away: “It’s a lot of things in the background. I will have to go into too much detail but in general I think that’s probably what cost us a bit.”

The Mexican is adamant he’d have been in the fight for the top three had he safely made it through to Q3.

 “Yes, definitely, we’ve been there all weekend so I see no reason to why we shouldn’t have been there today,” he added.

With overtaking likely to be very difficult in Sunday’s race, Perez anticipates it will be a “tricky” afternoon from 11th on the grid.

“It’s going to be a tricky race tomorrow, it’s not going to be an easy one but we will give it all.”

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