Sergio Perez admits to ‘struggling’ with RB19

Sergio Perez will start Sunday's United States GP from ninth on the grid, after another disappointing qualifying session.

Sergio Perez has admitted that he struggled with the balance of the RB19 on Friday at the United States Grand Prix, resulting in yet another underwhelming qualifying session.

With it being a sprint weekend, the drivers only had Free Practice 1 to tune their cars, as the paddock enters parc ferme conditions when qualifying gets underway Friday evening.

This has often been a struggle for Perez who tends to take longer to find his car’s sweet spot, something which was the case yet again at the Circuit of the Americas.

Whilst he did manage to progress to Q3, the 33-year-old could only salvage ninth on the grid, behind both Alpines.

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In Perez’s defence, the times in Q3 were extremely close, with Verstappen in P6 having been less than a tenth of a second quicker than the Mexican.

In fact, Perez’s best lap was just over four-tenths of a second slower than poleman Charles Leclerc.

The Red Bull driver’s issue on Friday was the balance of the car when transitioning from “low speed to high speed”, although he stressed that the issues were worse at low speeds.

Nevertheless, he’s hopeful that he can perform better on Saturday and be amongst the points in the sprint race, something he desperately needs given that Lewis Hamilton qualified third.

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“It wasn’t a straightforward one [session],” admitted Perez, as reported by

“I was struggling with the balance from low speed to high speed, especially in the low speed. We made some changes that probably didn’t help us as much.

“The margins were so tight today that a tenth would’ve looked so much different in the qualifying [result] but we are on the wrong side of it.

“Hopefully we can have a better Shootout and get some points.”

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With the exception of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Perez has tended to find the sprint weekends a challenge, mostly due to how early parc ferme is introduced.

He recognises this and admits there is nothing he can do, apart from try his best throughout Saturday and Sunday.

“That is what happens in these sprint events unfortunately, but it’s just part of the challenges so we’ll see what we are able to do,” added Perez.