Sergio Perez: “It’s going to be a very close battle tomorrow”

Sergio Perez will start sixth in Azerbaijan on Sunday - Credit: Sahara Force India F1 Team

Sergio Perez had only one lap during Q3 at the Baku Street Circuit thanks to the red flag caused by Daniel Ricciardo’s crash, with the Mexican clinching sixth on the grid with that effort.

The Sahara Force India F1 Team was expecting to do a two-lap run, but with time at a premium he was forced to push straight away, but was able to set a time of 1:42.111s, 0.075 seconds clear of team-mate Esteban Ocon.

Perez was just over four-tenths of a second down on third place, and after finishing on the podium in Azerbaijan in 2016, is hopeful that he avoids trouble and luck is on his side on Sunday.

“I’m quite pleased with sixth place,” said Perez. “The red flag in Q3 was not helpful because I had yet to set a competitive time and it meant I only had one chance to deliver right at the end.

“Normally we do an out lap, a preparation lap, and then push, but there just wasn’t time. So it was not an ideal Q3, but I’m still happy with our performance.

“There are quick cars ahead of us and also behind us, so it’s going to be a very close battle tomorrow. It’s a street circuit so it will be important to stay out of trouble and react quickly as things happen in the race.”