“It’s amazing,” says Perez, after becoming the first Mexican poleman in F1 history
A sensational Saturday in Saudi Arabia saw Sergio Perez claim the record for most races before claiming pole position – while the Mexican also claimed his country’s first-ever F1 pole position with a stunning effort under the spotlight of the Jeddah corniche circuit.
Perez had watched one step behind teammate Max Verstappen and the two Ferrari drivers throughout the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend, finishing no higher than third in any free practice session or segment of qualification.
But a scintillating final lap in Q3 from the Mexican saw him set a benchmark time of 1m 28.200s to take his first pole – in his 215th race – by just 0.025s from Charles Leclerc, Perez unable to hide his glee after the qualifications.
READ MORE: Perez edges Ferrari to sensational first pole in Saudi Arabia qualifying
“It’s incredible !” said Perez, who along with Verstappen failed to score in the season opener in Bahrain a week ago. “We are coming out of a difficult weekend [in] Bahrain and the team have been pushing so hard at home in Milton Keynes, everyone is really positive and pushing hard so extremely happy for that.
Asked what clicked for him driving his Red Bull RB18 in Q3, Perez replied: “I think the level of risk and getting into that rhythm and precision was key.
“If there’s one place you want to be on pole, this is it,” he added, “because you know you’ve got the lap and you’ve got the perfect lap.”
Sergio Pérez confident he can capitalize on ‘perfect lap’ and first pole