Tuscan Grand Prix – An internal teammate battle at Racing Point was settled in Perez’ favour, despite Lance Stroll running updates on his RP20.
Sergio Perez out-qualified Lance Stroll in qualifying on Saturday at Mugello, with the Mexican pleased with his efforts as he ran the older-spec RP20.
Lance Stroll is running an updated car, as Racing Point roll out some aerodynamic parts for their car.
Perez did a 1:16.511 in his car to eclipse Stroll by just half a tenth, and said: “I think we got everything we could out of the car and overall it’s been a positive day for the team. It was a good lap in Q3, which was important because we only had one set of Soft tyres remaining [having used two sets in Q1].”
Perez will start from P7, though, as he picked up a penalty after practice on Friday. It’s just a single position drop, but it puts him behind Stroll for the start: “It’s a shame that we have the penalty for the Grand Prix, but if I had to lose a place on the grid – I’m glad it’s to my team-mate! Lance was able to run the car upgrade today, which is looking positive, so that’s a good sign for the coming races. It’s a new race for all of us, so there’s plenty of unknowns and calling the strategy won’t be easy tomorrow. A strong start will mean we have everything to play for in the race.”
Stroll missed out on a chance to improve his qualifying time right at the end of Q3, having been one of the drivers affected by the yellow flags to cover Esteban Ocon going into the gravel at Turn 3.
“It was a little bit frustrating out there today.” said Stroll. “I think we could have qualified in P4 or P5 without the yellow flag on the final runs in Q3. I’d set a comfortable banker lap on my first run and I think I was set to improve significantly on my second. Regardless, there’s plenty of positives to take from today.”
“We improved the car overnight and earned a good starting position – and that’s important because overtaking is going to be difficult here. I’m happy with the feel of the car and we have good underlying pace, so I think we have the potential for a strong result tomorrow. We were also able to collect more data on our upgrade package and the early signs are promising. It’s been a good day’s work and I’m looking forward to the race now.”