Max Verstappen has lamented Sergio Perez’s terrible qualifying performance, and regretted that he wasn’t with him in Q3.
Verstappen wert second-fastest overall in Qatar, but he was off the pace compared to his title rival. However, his teammate Perez put in an absolute shocker, and was knocked out in Q2 itself.
It was a result that send shockwaves across the grid. More embarrassing was the fact that even on soft tyres, the Mexican wasn’t quick enough to get into Q3 in a car that was easily one of the fastest in practice.
That result will no doubt have sent Red Bull’s plans into the mud. Verstappen also lamented Perez’s terrible qualifying performance, and said that he had hoped for a better day for the team.
“Just lacking a bit of pace,” he explained, as quoted by grandprix247.com.
“It’s been just a bit more tricky for us again in qualifying. Checo is not even in Q3 so it definitely shows we are struggling a bit more than normal. But nevertheless, it’s still second, so it’s all to play for. But I wish we could have fought for more.”
Two versus one
Verstappen will now have to deal with two Mercedes cars at the top. With the Constructors’ Championship also going in Mercedes’ favour at the moment, Perez sitting outside the points will be music to their ears.
If he can nail the start of the race, things might get interesting. However, given the pace of Mercedes in Qatar, it will not be easy. Nevertheless, he is optimistic about his chances, given this is the first time F1 is racing at Losail.
“We’ve not done a race here, so there are a lot of unknowns,” he continued. “I don’t think about it much, focus on the start, we’ll see from there. We’ll focus on the race in general.”