Sergio Perez says his poor qualifying performance was in part due to a shoulder issue that hampered him on Saturday at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen was a threat for pole position throughout Saturday and will start alongside Lewis Hamilton on the front row, with the pair separated by 0.036s. Perez, however, spun on his first Q3 lap (pictured) and then could only secure eighth on the grid with his second, but says he was physically limited during qualifying.
“I didn’t felt 100% with myself today,” Perez said. “I had a bit of an issue with my shoulder through qualifying and was feeling bad all the way through it. Spoken to the team and we reviewed everything and we should be back to 100% tomorrow.
“It was just getting worse and worse as the qualifying developed and I struggled a bit more with it, but yeah, as I said, should be fine for tomorrow.
“It was just a bad day. I didn’t get a good lap throughout the day. Q1 was looking all right but we just didn’t make any progress after that. But I wasn’t 100% so it was hard to get the best out of the car in qualifying.”
Perez admits he will have to be aggressive at the start on Sunday in order to make up places early on, although hopes he can still make progress despite overtaking being tough in Barcelona.
“It hasn’t been a good weekend overall. From my side, I think in the past you see things are starting to come, especially the long run pace, and some work to do on performance. Just getting to know the car a bit more will be key.
“The race pace, I think we are right on the pace. I was already on the pace last weekend. Today was a one-off. I’ll say, it was a weak one from my side, I wasn’t 100% physically and it went from bad to worse.
“I’ll be aggressive as I need to, but I think the pace should be there and we should be able to come through the field and hopefully with the leaders at an early point in the race.”