Sergio Perez says Red Bull underestimated the lap time he needed to do to safely escape Q1 at the Dutch Grand Prix in an error that is “a massive blow” to his race hopes.
Max Verstappen advanced from Q1 with the third-fastest time after completing just one run, but Perez had more attempts to try and improve in a particularly competitive session. With the track getting noticeably quicker as the session went on, Perez then missed the checkered flag to start his final run and was eliminated in 16th place, something he says is particularly costly on a track where overtaking is so difficult.
“A bit too many things happened,” Perez said. “I think our cut-off wasn’t expecting this track evolution that we had in Q1. We probably carried a bit too much fuel for that first run, then we were monitoring the lap times from other people, then we realized that we were a bit of a mess and we didn’t manage to complete the lap.
“I think we missed out by a second and a half or something like that. It’s extremely frustrating as we definitely had the pace today to lock the front row. I think I was progressing well — I was feeling more comfortable as the run was progressing. It was just a massive blow for us. Tomorrow it’s going to be a very hard one but I look forward to try and score something, minimize the damage tomorrow.”
Perez says he was also held up by cars being slow in the pit exit but he thought he had plenty of time to start his final lap before the session ended.
“It was getting a bit messier with the cars that I had to let through. Probably I could have gone a bit earlier but I didn’t know how critical it was at the time. We left the garage with two minutes, so we got plenty of time. People making the gap in the pit lane… so a lot of factors that, putting them all together, we lost our lap.”