Perez handicapped by mysterious shoulder ailment

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has revealed that a mysterious shoulder issue was one of the causes behind... The post Perez handicapped by mysterious shoulder ailment appeared first on F1i.com.

Perez handicapped by mysterious shoulder ailment

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has revealed that a mysterious shoulder issue was one of the causes behind his poor performance in today's qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Perez lacked speed throughout the afternoon, but nonetheless made it through to the final round of qualifying.

However he spun on his first flying lap attempt in Q3 and will now line up in eighth place on the grid tomorrow, after finishing almost a full second off the top times set by Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

"It was just a bad day, I didn't get a good lap throughout the day," Perez admitted after the session. "Q1 was looking alright, but we just didn't make any progress after that."

He revealed that he had been suffering from a shoulder injury which prevented him from being at his best. "I wasn't [feeling] 100 per cent, so it was very hard to get the best out of the car in qualifying

"It was a bit of a struggle," he admitted. "I had a bit of an issue with my shoulder through qualifying and I was just feeling bad all the way through it.

"It was just getting worse and worse as the qualie developed, and I struggled a bit more with it," he added.

Although he wasn't sure what the cause of the problem was, Perez was certain that it would not cause him to drop out of tomorrow's race.

"I've spoken to the team, we've reviewed everything, and we should be back to 100 per cent tomorrow."

Whatever his poor grid position will make it harder for the team to find a way for him to successfully contribute to their race strategy in support of his team mate in the way that he did last week in Portugal when he was on the front row.

Red Bull motorsports consultant Dr Helmut Marko also suggested that last minute set-up changes had played a part in the disappointing outcome.

"We had already hoped that we would be able to include him strategically," Marko told Sky Sport Deutschland, explaining that there had been a last minute switch to a different rear wing configuration.

"In the end, he went with the vote on what Max had. Perhaps the acclimatisation period was too short for him with this new set-up," he suggested. "Because of the spin in the first attempt he was of course handicapped.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB16B. 08.05.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona

"Now let's see. The race is going to be long here," he added. "Unfortunately overtaking is traditionally very difficult [at Barcelona] but he's a good tyre whisperer, maybe we can bring that into play then."

"Today hasn't been a good weekend overall, it has been a poor one from my side," Perez conceded, insisting that this was an aberration compared with his recent performances.

he said it was a "one-off" and would soon be nothing more than a "bad memory" if he's able to bounce back tomorrow. "I’ll be aggressive as I need to be to make my race a faster race."

Looking ahead to the longer term, he added that it was just a matter of time before he was fully on top of the RB16B. "Just getting to know the car a bit more will be key.

"From my side, I think in the past you see things are starting to come, especially the pace. The pace is there, the long run pace, some work to do on performance, that's it."

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Bottas 'gutted' to miss out on pole in Spain

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas believed he was in with a strong chance of taking pole position for this... The post Bottas 'gutted' to miss out on pole in Spain appeared first on F1i.com.

Bottas 'gutted' to miss out on pole in Spain

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas believed he was in with a strong chance of taking pole position for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, having previously taken the top spot in 2019.

The Finn had been the fastest of anyone on Friday, and was second in the times in both Q1 and Q2 when it came to qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

But in the crucial final top ten pole shoot-out, he was only able to claim third place on the grid. He missed out on the front row to Red Bull's Max Verstappen by a tenth of a second, while his own team mate Lewis Hamilton went on to score a historic 100th pole.

"First of all, massive congrats to Lewis for the 100," Bottas told the media in parc ferme after the end of the session. "It’s a crazy number, so well done.

"That was close! It felt like I was there in the battle for the pole," he continued. "I was always expecting to have a close qualifying.

"And I’m gutted, because in the first run - which was the fastest run for the top three cars at least - in turn 10 I had a bit of a snap at the apex and lost a bit more than a tenth."

That would have been enough to put him onto the front row - if not outright pole. But Bottas did his best to shrug off the disappointment.

“Those kind of things, they are annoying but can happen,” he said. “But overall in the qualifying session, the pace was good, the speed was there.

"It was all about the fine details at the end and I couldn’t quite get it right today," he admitted. “We have a strong package. It’s going to be a good fight tomorrow, no doubt.

"I think the long run pace is good," he added. "But I think it’s honesty very similar to the Red Bulls’ in the last few races, so I’m expecting a good fight.

"If you can keep the tyres in good condition, you're going to be more competitive around the pit stops. There's the possibility to mix the strategy and try a one or a two-stop.

"It will be another close one between us and Red Bull. We'll do lots of work tonight and you'll have to wait until tomorrow to know our strategy."

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W12. 08.05.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff suggested that losing out on the front row might even prove to be a good thing for Bottas, as he will now start the race immediately behind Hamilton on the clean side of the track, with everyone on the same soft compound.

"We have the advantage of two cars on the clean side of the grid, and both drivers in the top three; that will provide us a strategic opportunity, and we need to make the most of it for the race."

Overall, Wolff was delighted with how the session had turned out. "[That's] exactly how we want it to be in F1, battling for every thousandth of a second.

"It looked like Max and Red Bull had a big advantage in Q2, but we kept chipping away at it and in the end, the top three drivers were covered by a tenth of a second.

"Both Lewis and Valtteri did a fantastic job in those final laps, and when it's such tiny margins, every detail makes a difference."

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