Sergio Perez Claims Maiden F1 Pole

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 26: Pole position qualifier Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 26, 2022 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202203260321 // Usage for editorial use only //
JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 26: Pole position qualifier Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 26, 2022 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202203260321 // Usage for editorial use only //

Sergio Perez has put in an astonishing lap of the Jeddah street circuit to claim his maiden pole in F1, ending a run of 215 race weekends without qualifying in first place. In the process he also made history, becoming the first Mexican F1 driver to take pole position.

Sergio Perez

“Today was very special to me, I achieved the best lap of my life. I feel like I could do another thousand laps and there is no chance I can get the same lap, with the amount of perfection and risk. This is probably the most difficult track for qualifying all season, you know if you’re on pole here then you nailed the lap. You have to be very precise, you must take all the risks and the risk to reward is extremely high but the positions you have to take around this place to get the perfect lap are so hard. We came to Jeddah from a very difficult weekend in Bahrain and the Team have been pushing so hard out here and back in Milton Keynes, so I am extremely happy for them all. If anything, we were focusing more on the race pace so we felt Ferrari had the upper hand on us in qualifying. We will see if we have the pace to beat them in the race tomorrow. I need a good start and then I will try to control the race from there, it is going to be difficult because the Ferraris are quick and Max will be in the mix too. We have a long race ahead of us but I am confident we can come out on top again.”

Max Verstappen

“Checo did a great job today, he put the car on pole and I’m really happy for him! From my side, qualifying didn’t go the way I had hoped, in Q1 and Q2 everything felt normal but in Q3 the grip was terrible, I couldn’t extract what I needed to from the tyres and I was just sliding everywhere. In the faster corners I couldn’t push as hard as I would have liked and when you don’t feel comfortable on a street circuit you cannot attack the corners. Of course I’m not happy with fourth and we’ll analyse what happened but we have a competitive car and we have a lot to fight for tomorrow as a Team. I am looking forward to it, hopefully we can have a good race.”

Christian Horner

“I am just so pleased for Checo, it is 11 years tomorrow after his F1 debut and 215 starts is simply incredible, he’s working harder than ever and that lap was fantastic. The Ferraris put down such a competitive marker and for Checo to put in a lap like that at this circuit was unbelievable. Max struggled with grip in Q3 and could not attack the corners as much as he wanted, but starting from fourth he’s still very much in contention. Ferrari are impressive and their car is so competitive, they started early on this project last year, so for us to have Checo on pole and Max up there on the second row in race two, after such an enormous effort last season, is a real testament to the hard work of the entire team.”

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