Perez: We made the wrong decision when we went for intermediates
8 July, 2012
Jul.8 (F1 Media) Sauber’s Sergio Pérez admitted his team made the wrong choice on tyres in the rain-hit qualifying session for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, a mistake which dumped the Mexican driver from the top of the timesheet to 17th place.
Both Pérez and team-mate Kobayashi had looked ideally placed to make it through to Q3 after running well early in the second session, before heavy rain fell in the latter stages and track conditions dramatically worsened.
However, with just over six minutes left on the clock, the red flags came out and the session was halted.
After an hour’s delay, the track was deemed fit for purpose once more, but as the bulk of the field went out on full wet tyres Sauber gambled on intermediates. It proved to be the wrong choice and with just one run left after pitting to take on the blue-banded full wet tyres, both Kobayashi and Pérez failed to improve markedly. Kobayashi slid down to 12th, while Pérez ended up 17th.
“We made the wrong decision when we went for intermediates instead of rain tyres after the break, but I also had traffic,” he said. “I was driving behind Daniel Ricciardo and could hardly see anything. It is such a shame because we clearly had the pace to fight for a top position here. However, we made a mistake and now have to try hard to recover from that in the race.”
Pérez does have the small consolation of moving up one place on the grid thanks to Jean-Eric Vergne’s 10-place penalty from Valencia. Kobayashi too will move up a place thanks to Nico Hulkenberg, who qualified ninth, but will suffer a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.
Like his team-mate, the Japanese driver rued the decision to use intermediate tyres in the re-started second session.
“We started on intermediate tyres after the break and this proved to be the wrong decision,” said Kobayashi. “I pitted and changed to rain tyres, but then I only had time for one flying lap and in the difficult conditions this wasn’t enough to improve as much as I needed to make it into Q3. Before that we had a very good chance of fighting for a top position. Our pace was really good in the wet. It is a missed opportunity.
“For the race I don’t really care whether it’s wet or dry,” he added. “I’ll be starting a long way down the grid and will fight as hard as I can.”
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