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Perez takes blame for Red Bull debut qualifying failure

Perez takes blame for Red Bull debut qualifying failure

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Perez takes blame for Red Bull debut qualifying failure

Perez takes blame for Red Bull debut qualifying failure
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Sergio Perez has taken full responsibility for his qualifying failure on his Red Bull debut that has left him facing "damage limitation" in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Perez will start from 11th on the grid after missing out on a place in the top-10 shoot-out, while team-mate Max Verstappen was left to celebrate the fourth pole position of his Formula 1 career.

After his first lap time was deleted in Q2 for exceeding track limits at turn four, Red Bull sent the Mexican out on another set of medium-compound tyres only for him to fall short as the likes of Ferrari and McLaren set their times on softs to make Q3.

Rather than blaming his new team, Perez has held his hands up to not being quick enough as Verstappen underlined what could be achieved with the RB16B.

“I am so disappointed I missed going into Q3,” said Perez. “I think that would have made a good difference, in understanding, having two sets of tyres as a reference for Max, but unfortunately we missed out.

“I was really confident I had the pace in hand. I think that was the right call of the team to try to go through on the medium but I just didn’t put the lap together. I didn’t do the lap I should have done."

Despite appreciating the challenge of trying to match Verstappen, Perez is keeping patient and is confident he will soon get back up to speed.

“I’m not concerned at all,” he added. “I’m happy with the understanding I got on the car going into qualifying but it just needs to come more. I just have to be patient with myself, put the work in and it should just be a matter of time.

“Tomorrow is a long race but it’s a long season ahead of us so we have to minimise the damage. I need every kilometre I can get tomorrow as well. I feel a lot of things I will be learning tomorrow.

"Max has shown the level of car that we’ve got, so its important tomorrow to finish it off, get as many points as possible for the team."

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