Perez expecting to pay further price for Bahrain GP engine blow-up in Sakhir race
Sergio Perez qualified an impressive fifth for the second successive weekend in Bahrain, but he is wary about his prospects in Sunday’s Sakhir Grand Prix given the Racing Point driver will race with an old-spec Mercedes power unit.
Perez was set to take a second consecutive podium in Bahrain when an MGU-K failure struck in the closing laps, causing so much damage to the power unit that he was forced to revert to an older engine that was in the pool.
The Mexican, who reckons using the old engine is costing him around two tenths of a second per lap, was second quickest in Q2, but couldn’t match the pace of the two Mercedes, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen or Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in Q3.
“I think it’s [fifth] about where we ended up, I don’t think there was much in it,” he said. “Given the age of the engine I’m running here, after I lost my fresh engine in the last race, I think we are being penalised by it.
“It’s going to be a hard race for us tomorrow, here straight-line speed is crucial to be able to race and to pass, so still a lot to play for tomorrow and hopefully we can score some good points and hopefully bring the engine home.”
His team mate Lance Stroll ended up down in 10th, but it emerged after the session that he damaged his floor in Q2, which mean he didn’t have the pace to compete properly in the final segment of qualifying.
“We had a broken floor after Q2, so we lost a load on the rear, lost a lot of lap time in Q3,” he said. “[It broke on a] bit of exit kerb out of [turn] eight, but it wasn’t so harsh.
“I don’t know what….I mean I do know what happened. It’s a shame, because it wasn’t really a lot of exit kerb, and it just destroyed the whole floor. Really bad for lap time, but that just sucks, because we had a lot more pace.”
He added: “It wasn’t such a hard hit, so I’m surprised it got so damaged.”