Sergio Perez insisted he’s not concerned about his dismal recent qualifying record ahead of the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix as he aims to reach Q3 for the first time since early May.
While Max Verstappen has achieved record-breaking success in the utterly dominant RB19, Perez has struggled hugely against the clock and has only achieved one podium since he was beaten by his teammate at the Miami GP in early May.
At Silverstone, a circuit that looked set to play to Red Bull‘s high-speed strengths, a late Q1 red flag meant each driver had one do-or-die lap on a drying track to improve and Perez was unable to find the grip to escape the elimination zone.
“It’s not a concern,” Perez told the media. “I think when you look at those qualifying sessions there’s always been a different situation, external situation, but we haven’t dealt as well as we should have done.
“But there has always been some external factor, it hasn’t been pure pace. And I think I have full support from the team.”
Perez’s rotten run
After a commanding Azerbaijan GP victory, Perez looked set to take the lead of the championship in Miami when he qualified on pole, nine places ahead of Verstappen who couldn’t set a Q3 time.
However, Verstappen fought his way back to win and from there it’s been disaster after disaster in qualifying for Perez.
He hit the wall in Monaco, struggled in the wet in Spain, Canada and Britain and was undone by a track limits violation in Austria leaving Perez almost 100 points behind Verstappen.
“We had a good weekend in Austria, just unfortunately with those track limits, but we should really have done a much better weekend there,” Perez added. “So I think it’s just a matter of time because the pace is there, we just have to make sure that we deliver.”
Bad omen for Hungary?
However, more bad news could be on the way for Perez at the Hungarian GP. It sees the introduction of the new ‘alternative tyre allocation’ qualifying format that was originally intended for Imola.
That means drivers will have an extra variable for Saturday as they’ll be forced to run hard tyres in Q1, mediums in Q2 and softs in Q3. However, Perez said he wasn’t troubled by the added consideration.
“I think it’s the same for everybody,” Perez added. “And it will be very interesting to see how teams cope with it, because basically all the drivers will have to go through all the compounds before we get into Q3 and run soft.”