Sergio Perez starred in Q2 by setting the fifth fastest time but a mistake on his Q3 lap and yellow flags, for Lewis Hamilton’s stricken Mercedes, cost him the chance to replicate that form in the final ten minutes.
The Mexican had to settle for ninth on the grid but he has shown that his improved form in India has carried forward to this weekend and he is confident of another strong race during tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Speaking to the media a clearly disappointed Perez felt that this was an opportunity gone missing for him to battle for a stronger starting position:
“We had a great chance today and I feel a bit disappointed not to get the maximum from my lap in Q3,” said Perez. “I lost a couple of tenths in the first sector but I also had the yellow flag which cost me some more. My Q2 lap would have qualified me seventh, which I think was possible, and we were only a couple of hundreds from P7. It’s a bit disappointing because the car is performing better and the qualifying was as straight forward as we hoped it would be but I’m confident that tomorrow we can be high up in the points.”
With the Mexican’s future having been under discussion recently McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, offered a strong indication that in the near future the issue will be resolved with Perez remaining alongside Jenson Button for a second season.
“Sergio did a great race last week and it’s the kind of thing that we love to see,” said Whitmarsh. “Both our drivers want to beat each other and we want the competition. It’s a strategy that can cause tension but we’ve got two honest guys who want to beat each other and I think that they can do that cleanly and I think that the sense of competition stimulates us all. The car hasn’t been quick enough this year and it’s given us the stimulus to compete within the team. I suspect that we’ll make the decision about our driver announcement quite shortly.