• Hungarian Grand Prix - Qualifying

McLaren in best form this year - Perez

ESPN Staff
July 27, 2013 « Raikkonen awaiting payment from Lotus | Hungarian Grand Prix deal extended until 2021 »
Sergio Perez: "We may have a better car for the race than we've had for some time" © Sutton Images
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Sergio Perez thinks McLaren is in the best shape it has been for some time after qualifying ninth on the grid in Hungary.

McLaren appears to have made progress this weekend and Perez managed to make the top ten in qualifying before opting to set a time on the medium tyres in Q3 in the hope of gaining a strategic advantage in Sunday's race.

"At the beginning of Q1, I still felt a little bit uncomfortable with the car, which is why I only just made it through to Q2," he said. "However, my Q2 lap was quite good - we'd made a lot of changes to the car overnight - so I'm hopeful that we may have a better car for the race than we've had for some time.

"Given our pace - we knew we weren't going to qualify in the top five - we opted to run the prime in Q3. That tyre choice ought to give us a better strategy for the race tomorrow. We'll be the first car starting on primes, so I think we're in a reasonable position for tomorrow."

Team-mate Jenson Button could only manage 13th place on the grid but is confident he will be more competitive in Sunday's race.

"When we run fresh rubber, I can't get enough front-end in the car - we're maxed out - so I'm struggling. In a way, that's a positive - because it means we've introduced downforce to the rear of the car. And hopefully that situation will change for the race, when you can play around with things in the cockpit a little more, and there's generally less rear grip for everyone.

"I'm a little disappointed as I'd hoped for a bit more here. I think that's because it's been difficult to balance the car - but, hopefully, we'll show a little bit more pace in the race. I'm sure we can still have fun tomorrow."