Messy day costs Perez Q3 chance in COTA qualifying

Sergio Perez - Credit: Sahara Force India

Sergio Perez was unable to match team-mate Nico Hülkenberg throughout qualifying for the United States Grand Prix, and as such will start outside the top ten on Sunday.

The Sahara Force India F1 Team driver missed out on advancing to the top ten shootout when Felipe Massa pulled out a lap quick lap, but Perez felt there was an issue with his VJM09 that prevented him from matching his team-mate’s pace, with Hülkenberg set to start seventh on the grid.

Perez is hopeful that the problems can be overcome ahead of the race so they do not derail his performance as he aims to secure more points for the team as they do battle with Williams Martini Racing for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.

“It has been a messy day – not only qualifying, but final practice as well,” said Perez. “For some reason, I’ve been quite a long way off the pace and we’ve lost some of the performance we had yesterday.

“This morning we found an issue with one of the components at the rear of the car, which impacted on my pace. I thought we had solved that going into qualifying, but I still believe there is an issue with the car because the data showed it was very difficult for me to match my team-mate in the braking zones.

“The car also felt nervous through the high-speed corners. Hopefully we can understand where I’m losing out and figure out a solution so that it does not impact on my race pace tomorrow.”