Seldom does Sergio Perez get the better of his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, but in qualifying for the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix he did just that but the team expected more for their drivers.
To be fair the Mexican had the edge over the Dutch ace in Q2 also and in the end took the fight to the pace-setting Ferrari’s who annexed the front row, the Bulls lining up on the second row. In qualy, once again the Scuderia boys had the edge.
Overtaking almost impossible is going to make life difficult, but anything can happen at the Principality and, of course, rain which is being forecast will change the scenario significantly.
But for now, team boss Christian Horner summed up his team’s sentiment after qualifying on Saturday: “It was a shame at the end there as both drivers had the ability to improve a little and unfortunately Checo made a small mistake and that had a concertina effect with Max as well, but third and fourth we can still race from there.
“We’ll get the car back and see what the damage is, but this year of course, like engines, you have three gearboxes you can use for the year without a penalty. Naturally, Checo is frustrated as he has been on it all weekend.
“It was also frustrating for Max as that’s the second consecutive year he’s missed out on a final flying lap. But the race is tomorrow and there could be some rain around, also safety cars, so it will all about positioning in the first corner and I am sure Ferrari will be synchronised, so let’s see what happens.”
Perez: I am very sorry for my Team
The crash happened just before the tunnel entrance and brought the session to an end, Perez explained: “I knew the timed lap in Q3 was very important but the out-lap was even more so, with people not respecting the delta and so I ended up in the final sector with tyres that were too cold and I nearly lost it in turn one.
“I was thinking the tyre would pick up grip and warm-up but it just didn’t and it’s a big shame what happened. I was losing lap time in turn eight so I tried to anticipate the corner very early but it just didn’t work and while, it is frustrating to end the day like this, we have still qualified in the top three in Monaco.
“I am very sorry for my Team, it is going to be a long night for them but hopefully we can recover and be back tomorrow. It was just a precautionary check in the medical centre, I am all ok and now I am looking forward to tomorrow.
“I am on the good side of the grid so I would like to gain one or two positions, it will be tricky but I am up for the fight. It could be a wet track tomorrow so anything can really happen.”
Verstappen: We were on for a good final lap in Q3
This weekend, Red Bull’s reigning Formula 1 World Champion has not found the sweetspot around Monte-Carlo which he calls home, last year’s winner said in the team report: “In general my pace this weekend has been a bit of a struggle, I never really found the perfect balance.
“We were on for a good final lap in Q3, I was pushing to the limit on the last lap until I got to the corner where I hit a little traffic jam! It was very unfortunate as I think we could have done better than fourth, not pole position, because I think that Charles is too far ahead.
“But I think we could have at least got second place. That’s Monaco for you though, it’s completely unpredictable and there’s always a risk of a red flag when everyone is trying to risk it all.
“I think I need to do a little rain dance tonight, shake it up a bit for the race tomorrow because in the dry you cannot pass around here,” added Verstappen, who leads the 2022 F1 drivers’ championship by six points after six rounds. Red Bull are 26 points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ standings.
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 28, 2022