Sergio Perez had high hopes in Qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix but found the going increasingly tough, and was ultimately forced to settle for tenth on the grid for his home race.
The Sahara Force India F1 Team racer had shown flashes of competitiveness during the weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, but when it came to Q3, he struggled with the feeling of the car and with tyre warm up, which meant his best lap was not as quick as he had hoped, and he ended up 0.370 seconds and four places behind team-mate Esteban Ocon.
“Today hasn’t gone as I was hoping and that’s very disappointing,” said Perez. “We have been very competitive all weekend, but we couldn’t achieve the result we wanted at the most important moment.
“I was quite satisfied in Q1 and our pace showed a lot of promise, but as the conditions changed we weren’t able to respond. We changed our tyre warm-up routine and I lost all my feeling with the car.
“Getting the tyres in the right window was difficult and I was unhappy with the balance: it’s something we will need to analyse tonight.”
Perez hopes to give his home fans something to cheer about on Sunday, with the Mexican believing he has a strong VJM10 in race conditions.
“Tomorrow’s race will be challenging, but our car has very good pace,” said Perez. “I want to give my fans something to celebrate: all weekend I have received an incredible amount of support and today they deserved a lot more.
“I was happy to be able to speak to all of them at the start of the session and I hope we can give them a better result tomorrow.”