Sergio Perez: “I think it was one of my best qualifying sessions”

Sergio Perez starts seventh in Austria despite struggling in practice - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

After disappointing results in free practice, Sergio Perez bounced back in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, with the Mexican claiming eighth on the grid, which will become seventh when Lewis Hamilton takes his grid penalty.

The Sahara Force India F1 Team racer had been nowhere near the top ten in the two free practice sessions he participated in – test driver Alfonso Celis Jr took over his car in first practice – but came good when it mattered, with Perez feeling it was one of his better qualifying sessions of his career, due mainly to the problems he’d faced up until Saturday afternoon.

“I’m feeling happy with our performance today,” said Perez. “I think it was one of my best qualifying sessions when you consider how difficult things have been leading up to the session.

“I was P17 in second practice and P18 in final practice this morning. So to end qualifying in eighth place shows the mega steps we have taken to improve the car. It’s been a huge effort by the whole team.

“I was a bit unlucky with the yellow flag at the end of the session because there was an opportunity to improve my time.”

Perez feels there is a chance of a good haul of points on Sunday at the Red Bull Ring regardless of what weather conditions they face, with a wet race a possibility.

“I’m really looking forward to this race and I think we will be even stronger in race conditions,” said Perez. “We need to keep an eye on the weather, but wet or dry I think we can have a great race tomorrow.”