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Perez rues ‘total disaster’ as he follows up Red Bull contract extension with Q1 exit in Canada

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MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 08: 16th placed qualifier Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing

Sergio Perez labelled his qualifying display at the Canadian Grand Prix as a “total disaster” after he dropped out of the Q1 phase and left himself with a battle to score points from a lowly 16th position on the grid.

Perez entered the weekend buoyed by signing a two-year extension to his Red Bull contract but struggles in Saturday’s cool, slippery conditions around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve turned those smiles upside down.

READ MORE: Russell clinches pole position in Canada with identical time to Verstappen in closely-fought qualifying

While team mate Max Verstappen made it safely through Q1 and Q2 to ultimately secure second on the grid behind pole-sitter George Russell, Perez fell at the first hurdle – as he did last time out in Monaco – and resorted to hitting his halo device in frustration.

2024 Canadian GP Qualifying: Perez beats the halo in frustration after Q1 exit in Montreal

“It was a total disaster,” he commented afterwards, before pinpointing problems with the rear axle of his RB20 and getting his tyres in the optimal window. “I just couldn’t get the grip in.

“I think it was a very strange session for a lot of cars out there, and for us, I just couldn’t get the tyres to switch on. It was taking a while to really switch on the tyre, and that was a total disaster.”

READ MORE: ‘I’ve missed this feeling!’ – Russell hails Mercedes progress after Canada pole as he vows to ‘go for it’ on race day

Expanding on those comments in an interview with Sky Sports F1, Perez said: “The main thing was really to switch on the rear, the rear axle for me was quite tricky.

“I ended up paying the price with it, because basically I just had no grip, I was sliding too much.

Perez brands his Q1 exit ‘a total disaster’

“I think in these conditions, somehow, we were not able to switch on the rear axle, I couldn’t lean on it at all. I just didn’t have any confidence at the time to push it.”

Perez is now braced for a challenging race from the eighth row of the grid as he looks to help Red Bull protect their reduced 24-point championship lead over Ferrari in the constructors’ standings.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the qualifying action in Canada as Russell grabs pole and Ferrari suffer shock double Q2 exit

“It’s a total disaster, but let’s see what happens with the weather and what we can do with the strategy as well,” the Mexican signed off.

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