Missed Opportunity For Red Bull In Mexico Qualifying

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 06: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Red Bull Racing during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on November 06, 2021 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202111060755 // Usage for editorial use only //
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Red bull were favourites to lock out the front row in Mexico after strong practice sessions, however, a messy final few minutes in Q3 saw them hand the advantage to Mercedes, with Max Verstappen qualifying third and Sergio Perez fourth ahead of tomorrow’s race.

Max Verstappen

“P3 isn’t so bad considering we were really struggling to get the tyres to work today, we were sliding around a lot. My first lap in Q3 wasn’t great, the grip was terrible so when I saw the gap to Mercedes, I thought that was fair enough. We needed to find a better balance in the car so we tried to make a few changes to how our car was running and then I think the second lap of Q3 was looking okay. I don’t know what happened in front of me but I saw Checo and Yuki both go wide and I saw a lot of dust so I thought that a car had crashed. I’ve been caught out by yellow flags here before so I slowed down, as a result I lost a lot of momentum and time. It’s a shame that we both aren’t locking out the front row tomorrow after being so competitive all weekend. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully the race will be exciting, there’s a long run to the first corner so let’s see what happens.”

Sergio Perez

“The car was not the same as it was in FP3 after we had to change the rear wing, but we did couple of adjustments in the session and once we got on top of it, all of a sudden I found Yuki off his racing line ahead of me at turn 11, which hurt my final lap. He wasn’t a distraction it was that I was too close to him and it forced me to brake. Once I did that I lost my downforce and I think I got a lot of dirty air, lost the car unfortunately and lost my lap. We didn’t have the pace across qualifying, but I think I could have improved a bit going into that final lap, I was up already on my previous lap and think I could have improved by a couple of tenths. We have to analyse as a Team to make sure tomorrow we have a good race car and are able to put pressure on the Mercedes ahead of us. I think the launch we have tomorrow is more important than the grid position, there is a long race ahead and we will try to be there, I am optimistic and I hope all the fans enjoy it. The crowd have been amazing, they are giving me so much love and support. I just look forward to tomorrow now and hope I can celebrate with them on the podium, I will give my maximum.”

Christian Horner

“Today has been disappointing because we felt we could have finished with both drivers on the front row, but we have both on the second row of the grid and they can have a great race from there. Max starts on the clean side of the grid so that’s a positive. It is going to be very tight in the race tomorrow, we need to nail the start with both the drivers. We are disappointed for today but optimistic for tomorrow and we still think we’ve got a great chance in this race, but it’s certainly looking harder than it was this morning.”

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