Sergio Perez believes his Racing Point team have taken a “good step” that will make them more competitive if rain hits Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying.
The ‘Pink Panthers’, subject of a protest by Renault over their similarity to last year’s Mercedes, struggled badly in qualifying for last weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix.
Perez and Lance Stroll started 17th and 13th on the grid for the second of the two races in Austria that kicked off the 2020 season, but were much stronger on Sunday and ended up P6 and P7.
After FP2 at the Hungaroring was also held in wet conditions, Perez feels last week’s problems can be averted by Racing Point if, as the weather forecast suggests, the rain falls in Budapest during qualifying
“It was a good day because we managed to get some wet running and get the confidence back after the poor qualifying we had last weekend in the wet, so that’s very positive,” Perez told the official Formula 1 website. “I’m confident for tomorrow regardless of the conditions.
“We did a good step. I think we understood our weakness last weekend so we managed to do a good step in the wet.”
In FP1, Perez and Stroll were classified P3 and P4 behind Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, but ‘Checo’ was reluctant to claim that meant they had leapt above Red Bull in the pecking order for dry conditions.
“It’s very early, it was only one practice session,” said Perez. “People were on very different programmes so I think we didn’t learn much in terms of pace.
“I think the target for tomorrow should be well into Q3 and then get a good spot. We’ll see where we start tomorrow, I think that’s the first step, and then we’ll see what happens on Sunday.”
— BWT Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) July 17, 2020
Stroll also preferred to keep his cards close to his chest and said: “I think we were pretty competitive from the get-go. All in all the car felt pretty good. Not much running in the afternoon, which was a shame.
“Let’s see what happens tomorrow, there’s some rain in the area but nobody really knows what’s going to happen.
“Either way, the car felt pretty good in the wet, and in the dry this morning we looked strong.”
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