Sergio Perez is happy with todays performance after he managed to beat Daniel Ricciardo and all the nearest midfield competitors to fourth, which is now ‘best of the rest’.
BWT Racing Point Formula One Team had been on the just behind Renault DP World F1 Team all weekend but pulled it out of the bag when it was needed most.
Perez said: “I’m very happy with our performance today: I think P4 was the maximum I could achieve because Max and the two Mercedes were very strong out there. We were able to qualify ahead of our nearest rivals, which is the main thing. It was a really tough session because the wind kept changing and we had the disruption of the red flag too.
“It’s a credit to the team that we were able to manage the sessions so well and extract the maximum from the car. A podium could be difficult to achieve here, but anything can happen at the start with the long run to Turn 2. If we make a strong start and manage the tyres well, I think we can fight for a good result tomorrow.”
Lance Stroll wasn’t as fortunate as his team-mate. Lance Stroll was forced to retire from qualifying during the Q2 red flag due to issues with his engine overheating. At the time he was sitting in the elimination zone so there was no way of getting the car to Q3. He’ll start tomorrow in thirteenth.
“It was a tough day. We were all set for the final few minutes of Q2 and raring to go after the red flag. Sadly, the engine was overheating while we were in the fast lane so we took the precaution of switching off the car. It’s frustrating because we’ve made it into Q3 consistently this year.” said Stroll.
“I’ve not quite found my rhythm here yet; I just need to put together the finer details and come back stronger tomorrow. It’s not easy to overtake here, but we have a quick race car. If we can get a good start and make some early progress, then it’s all to play for in terms of points.”
Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal, rues the day as one of mixed fortunes having one driver stand out and the other have issues completely out of his control.
Szafnauer said: “A session of mixed fortunes with small margins making a big difference today. A fourth place for Sergio is well-deserved and should allow us to make the most of our competitive race pace tomorrow. Lance lines up in P13 – largely due to the red flag, which interrupted his quickest lap in the final minutes of Q2.
“It led to the squabble for track position with cars queueing in the pit lane as we tried to second guess when the session would restart. Unfortunately, the power unit was overheating and we asked Lance to switch the car off. He deserved more from today, but he will be strong tomorrow, and at least he will get a free choice of tyres for the start of the race.”