Sergio Perez admitted the qualifying session at the Hockenheimring was ‘fun’, especially as he and his Sahara Force India team-mate Nico Hülkenberg battled the Williams Martini Racing duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa for position until the very end.
The Mexican ended the session ninth, behind his team-mate and Bottas, but felt it was a close run thing with all four drivers separated by just 0.105 seconds when the chequered flag at the end of the session.
Perez believed he could have qualified higher but for struggles in the right-hand corners on his final run, with the Mexican believing debris may have got caught up in his front wing, something Force India will have to investigate.
“It was a fun and very intense fight with Nico and the two Williams cars throughout qualifying, and in the end it was really close between the four of us,” said Perez.
“It was crucial to get through Q1 on one set of tyres because some other teams had to use two sets and this gave us a small advantage in Q2, which helped us make the top ten.
“On my last lap of Q3 I struggled a bit through some of the right-hand corners; I think I may have picked something up on my front wing – maybe some debris – and that cost me some time, but it’s something I will analyse with the team. In the end, it was so close and just a few hundredths of a second made the difference.”
Perez is hopeful of getting the strategy calls right on race day as he looks to score some more points for the team, and is looking to close the gap on Bottas, who sits nine points ahead of him in seventh place in the Drivers’ Championship.
“Tomorrow is going to be interesting,” said Perez. “We are starting on the supersofts on which we qualified and we will need to work well as a team to make the strategy work and score some important points.”