Sergio Perez: It was a bit mental

Sergio Perez has been left wondering what his true pace is going into qualifying for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez was left rueing a pair of challenging practice sessions for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix after being baulked by traffic during FP1.

Saudi Arabian GP winner Perez tried to set several push laps during the first practice session but could not go quicker after being blocked in the final sector as several cars suffered GPS issues.

“It was a bit mental, especially going into FP2,” Perez said to the media. “It felt like a number of drivers had issues with their GPS, It was just a mess I couldn’t get a lap in the afternoon. 

“We made some changes which seem to be working in sectors 1-2, but there is plenty to do, so we’ll be going a bit blind into the race, which should be interesting.”

Sergio Perez of Red Bull ahead of 2023 Australian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Saturday, a real moment of truth

With both of his sessions disrupted, Perez was unable to showcase his real pace during both of Friday’s sessions, putting him on the backfoot going into Saturday’s qualifying session.

The damp conditions also made the Albert Park circuit particularly treacherous, with drivers complaining about the lack of grip during the afternoon session. 

“Tomorrow we’re going to see where we really are,” said Perez. “I feel comfortable in Sectors 1 and 2 with the changes we made from FP1 and FP2. I never got into a rhythm in Sector 3 with the traffic.

“In the damp, I could feel the white lines, it was really bad, so hopefully, we don’t get damp conditions as it could be quite dangerous, but when it’s dry, it’s not so bad.”

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