Sergio Perez believed his Sahara Force India car had the pace to be higher up the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix, but the Mexican is relatively satisfied to be starting inside the top ten.
Perez qualified eighth, but will start in seventh once Kimi Raikkonen takes his gearbox penalty, and admitted post-qualifying that he struggled to get heat into his Pirelli tyres that he believes cost him a better outcome in the session.
With team-mate Nico Hulkenberg up in fifth, Perez is looking for a strong race on Sunday for the team, and is hopeful of bringing his VJM09 home inside the points once more.
“We had very good pace today and we made some steps forward compared to Thursday, but I struggled to get heat into the tyres and that’s why I feel a better position was possible,” said Perez. “In any case, seventh is a good place to start so we are targeting a good result.
“Monaco is probably the most important qualifying session of the year so it’s good to be starting well inside the top ten, but at the same time we know how unpredictable this race can be.
“Anything can happen, such as a safety car or rain, and you need to react quickly and make the right calls. You also need a bit of luck. It will be crucial to start well, as we know that what really matters in Monaco is track position.
“Tomorrow is going to be a whole different story and I am looking forward to the challenge.”