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‘Wrong place, wrong time’ – Perez and Alonso offer their reactions to shock Q1 exits

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Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso both expressed frustration as the pair claimed that traffic played a key role in their dramatic exits during the opening phase of qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Aston Martin driver Alonso and Red Bull’s Perez are set to start Sunday’s race back in 16th and 18th respectively as they failed to post a quick enough time to make it out of Q1, which featured plenty of squabbling for track position.

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Given the tight, twisty nature of the Monte Carlo circuit, which features few realistic overtaking opportunities, the two drivers are now braced for challenging afternoons from the back of the grid as they look to salvage some points.

Explaining what happened on his side, Perez said: “I got traffic on my lap, enough to lose a couple of tenths. That will have changed the lap dramatically. Unfortunately, we just didn’t put it together, and this is the result of it. Unfortunately we are out.

Perez explains what happened on ‘bad day for me’ as he is knocked out in Q1

“It’s quite a bad day for myself because there is nothing we can hope for tomorrow. We are completely out and it’s going to be quite a challenge to get back tomorrow.”

Perez’s Q1 exit comes on a challenging weekend for Red Bull, with the RB20 not enjoying Monaco’s kerbs and bumps, though team mate Max Verstappen managed to qualify sixth in the sister machine.

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix as Leclerc takes home pole position

“We were finding the light, this morning [in final practice] we were P5, and we were getting back,” Perez added. “We did some more changes, and we just didn’t get in the rhythm.

“I think we had the pace to get through… Putting the ideal lap time would have been enough. But like always, you have to put it when you have the chance, and with the traffic I encountered it was enough to be out.”

Qualifying Highlights: 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

Alonso told a similar story in his post-qualifying interviews as he gets set to line up two spots behind team mate Lance Stroll, who made it through to Q2 and placed 14th.

“A lot of traffic – I think that was a killer for our qualifying,” he lamented. “I think I lost three-tenths out of [Turn] 11, with a car just in front, then another two-tenths in the last corner… There were three cars parked there, starting their lap.

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“No one’s to blame, I think they cannot vanish in the very last moment. This is Monaco, the cars are very big, they cannot disappear. We found ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time today, and this is very painful here in Monaco.”

Pushed on how difficult the race will be, he said: “Yeah, very tricky. I think it’s going to be a parade of cars tomorrow, but nothing we can do. You need to do the job on Saturday, we didn’t manage it today, so we need to do better next time.”

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