Perez eyes fightback after practice shunt

Shahida Jacobs
Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez is determined to finish in the points at the Singapore Grand Prix after a tough Saturday at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

The Racing Point driver’s day didn’t get off to best of starts as he hit the wall at Turn 22 during FP3.

It meant his mechanics had their work cut out to get his car ready for qualifying, but they came to the party and he was able to take part.

However, he was only 11th fastest and will start further down the grid as he received a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox after his shunt.

“Everybody did a tremendous job to put the car together in time for qualifying,” Perez said. “It’s very unfortunate that I damaged the car in final practice. This circuit doesn’t allow a single mistake, but I made one.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do ahead of tomorrow, but I believe that we have an opportunity to recover and fight back. It’s a long race and I’ve been in this position before in Singapore.

“I know that anything can happen here: even when you think you are down and out, you can still come back strong. We have good race pace and there are two hours of racing ahead of us. We have to make sure that we finish the race, stay out of trouble and then we can have a shot at the points.”

With team-mate Lance Stroll on 17th fastest, team principal Otmar Szafnauer believes they didn’t show their potential on Saturday.

“Sergio’s day was compromised by the contact with the wall in final practice, which deprived him of track time and forced the gearbox change,” he said.

“He was on the cusp of making the cut for Q3 but will now incur a grid drop for the new gearbox. While I don’t feel we’ve shown our true potential today, I remain optimistic that we can have a better Sunday. The long run pace is encouraging and we will play the long game tomorrow to take any opportunities that come up.”

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