Sergio Perez was happy to have made it to the final qualifying session but his ninth place finish was little comfort after he was left disappointed in his final attempt.
The Mexican believes that seventh was a realistic target had it all come together as planned.
“It was not an ideal qualifying session for me, but in the end we got a good result and we can be pleased to be in Q3,” he said. “I didn’t get the perfect lap; I feel I have left something on the table and when the margins are so close a tenth of a second would have put us a couple of places further ahead.”
Sochi has shown itself to be a difficult track to master, with teams finding it difficult to warm both the front and rear tyres sufficiently enough, and to then maintain them equally throughout the lap, and things were not made any easier by the upswing in temperature from Friday’s sessions.
“It was not easy to get the tyres in the right operating window and to keep them working for the whole lap,” he continued. “Also, the track conditions changed a lot from yesterday and I think this affected everyone.”
The Sahara Force India F1 Team driver is well aware that Sochi has been the host of numerous incidents over its short life. Perez will be aiming to improve from his starting position whilst staying away from any coming together.
“The key for tomorrow’s race will be having a good start and a clean run into turn two: it’s a tricky one and in the past there has been plenty of action there at the start,” he added.
“I am optimistic for the race and I think we can aim to make up some positions from where we start.”