Sergio Perez believes qualifying was a real fight for the Brazilian Grand Prix after the margins between progression and elimination were tiny.
The Sahara Force India F1 Team driver will start Sunday’s Grand Prix in ninth, behind team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, with the Mexican finishing only 0.061 seconds behind. This performance from the Silverstone-based outfit, means they have a strong start for Sunday, especially with them qualifying higher than Williams Martini Racing, their main rival in the Constructors’ Standings fight for fourth.
The Autódromo José Carlos Pace is a short track, meaning drivers need to really hook together the perfect lap, as any mistake can make a big difference, but Perez did enough to make it through to Q3 for the first time at the circuit.
“We made a big step forward from practice to qualifying,” said Perez. “It was enough to get us through to Q3.
“The session was a real fight, especially in Q1, and the margins between progression and elimination were tiny. This is a very short track and you need to really hook together the perfect lap, because any mistake can make a big difference.”
With a small mistake in the final corner, this cost the Mexican valuable time in qualifying, meaning he could have been quicker and finished ahead of Hulkenberg.
“It was very tight with Nico; we were within a few tenths of each other all afternoon,” added Perez. “But in the end I fell just short.
“I made a small mistake in the final corner and it cost me some time, so I could have been a bit quicker. Overall I think we can be happy with the job we did today. We have kept some quick cars behind us and I believe we can be strong in the race. We now need to see what the weather brings tomorrow.”