Qualifying ninth for the Eifel Grand Prix, Sergio Perez feels Racing Point “messed up” qualifying by trying the medium tyres in Q1.
With only one car in action on Saturday morning, the only practice session of the weekend after Friday was a wash-out, Racing Point was on the back foot heading into qualifying at the Nurburgring.
The team opted to send Perez out on a set of medium tyres but, with him falling further and further down the order, had to send him out again on a set of the softs.
As qualifying played out, he was left with just one brand new set of the red tyres for Q3 meaning he could do just one run.
He qualified ninth, behind both the Renaults, the team that Racing Point is fighting for fourth place in the championship.
“I think we messed up a bit with our strategy,” he told Sky, “we thought we had a bit more pace and we tried the medium in Q1 which meant we lost basically a set for Q3.
“We only had one set in Q3 and I reckon the track changed a lot in that final run. The wind picked up a lot so the balance was pretty bad and unfortunately I only had one set.
“I went through on a single set of softs, so we could have done a bit better in that regard.”
— BWT Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) October 10, 2020
He added: “It isn’t looking great for tomorrow to have both the Renaults ahead, the Ferrari, it can be a painful day in the championship tomorrow.”
Perez will partner Nico Hulkenberg in Sunday’s 60-lap Eifel Grand Prix after Lance Stroll was withdrawn due to illness.
The Canadian didn’t climb into the car on Saturday morning as Hulkenberg raced towards the circuit leaving Perez as the sole Racing Point driver doing all the work.
Perez, who sat out two races after testing positive for Covid-19, has wished his team-mate a speedy recovery.
“It all changed very quickly with Lance not coming in this morning, I could see some stress in the team,” he said.
“I didn’t know what was happening, so I just hope health-wise Lance is okay and we can have him back soon.”
Racing Point has revealed that Stroll’s symptoms are not “classic” Covid-19 symptoms with the driver testing negative.
Instead he “has a bit of an upset stomach. So he was on the toilet the whole time. And he said ‘I’ve just got rid of a lot of fluid and I can’t get off the toilet for long enough to get in a race car”, said team boss Otmar Szafnauer.