Perez Admits It Was 'Impossible' For Him To Replicate Verstappen's Fastest Lap

Saturday, 09 March 2024 at 08:56
Updated at Saturday, 09 March 2024 at 09:38
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After qualifying, Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez said Max Verstappen's lap was so "tremendous" that it was impossible for him to replicate.
Sergio Perez will start the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from the second row on the grid after qualifying in P3 behind Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and his teammate Max Verstappen.
The third position on the grid is right behind the first, so the Mexican driver will start behind the triple World Champion, who put in the fastest lap of the session—1:27.472.
Verstappen consistently outperformed Checo throughout qualifying. In Q1, he was faster by 0.467 seconds, in Q2 by 0.434 seconds, and in Q3 by 0.335 seconds.
The 34-year-old did come closer to his teammate throughout the session. However, he just could not replicate the kind of laps that Dutchman did.
Perez attended the press conference of the top three drivers with the media at Jeddah Corniche Circuit right after the qualifying, and he said:

"I didn't get much of an improvement on the final lap, which is where we missed the front row. Max has done a tremendous lap, which was not possible for me today."

Verstappen has so far won two out of two qualifying sessions. Can he also make it two out of two race wins? Jeddah is one of two circuits that Perez won last year.
Street circuits tend to suit Checo more. But if he couldn't match the World Champion in qualifying, it remains a question whether or not he will be able to do so in the race. The Red Bull Racing F1 driver added:

"But we are in the fight for tomorrow, I think it will be a long, fun race with plenty of action. The cars all around us are so close, so it will be an interesting race tomorrow."