• Indian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Perez happy with 'magic lap'

ESPN Staff
October 27, 2012 « Raikkonen admits set-up error | Di Resta perplexed by car problem »
Sergio Perez comfortably outqualified his team-mate Kamui Kobayashi despite missing FP1 due to illness © Sutton Images
Related Links

Sergio Perez said he delivered "a magic lap" to qualify in eighth place for the Indian Grand Prix.

Esteban Gutierrez replaced Perez for FP1 on Friday due to Perez being unwell, but even despite the reduced running prior to qualifying he managed to make it through to Q3 while team-mate Kamui Kobayashi lines up in 17th place. Perez admitted that his qualifying session had gone smoothly and he had got the most he could out of the car.

"I think we got a magic lap," Perez said. "It was a very, very good one, very clean, no mistakes and the balance was improving run by run so it was a very good improvement for us. We made some changes already from FP3 to qualifying and we went in the right direction. Still the car was difficult to drive because I was locking the tyres a bit - especially the fronts - so I could not attack the corner that much but I found my way to cope with that and extract the maximum."

When asked if his top ten qualifying performance was a surprise, Perez replied: "Yeah very surprised. I was really shocked that I went through to Q3.

"During the race the main target is to get some good points for my team and fight with Mercedes to discount some points from there. [We're looking at] Mercedes, definitely; Force India is behind so we're always looking forward."

Perez admitted that he was still feeling unwell but that it wouldn't affect his race performance and hadn't hampered him in qualifying.

"Not really, I took the maximum out of the car today so I'm happy with that even though in my condition I am not at 100%. Mentally I tried to give my best even though physically I'm not so good. I tried to give my best, just give everything and it went well today.

"[I'm] not [feeling] very good, but it's OK to do the race tomorrow. I need some rest and it will be fine … I was feeling good enough to drive on Friday morning."