Perez laments qualifying 'disaster' in Monaco

© XPB 

For the second week in a row, Sergio Perez suffered a nightmare in qualifying and ended up being eliminated before the final top ten pole shoot-out. Only this time it was much, much worse for the Red Bull driver.

Last week at Imola, Perez missed the cut at the end of Q2 for the first time this season during qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and had to start from P11 on the grid.

With Imola not being a great circuit for overtaking, Perez was forced to work hard just to finish in eighth place, meaning he lost his second spot in the drivers championship standings..

But today in Monaco proved even worse for Perez, who ended up being eliminated at the end of the first round of qualifying leaving him set to start tomorrow's race from 18th on the grid ahead of just the two Saubers.

And if Imola is a hard place to overtake then Monaco is another order of magnitude greater still in terms of difficulty, even for a driver who won here in 2022 - meaning it will be hard for him to score any points tomorrow.

"It was a disaster," Perez admitted after his early exit. "On my lap I encountered a lot of traffic into turn 6 into 7, and there were some stickers laying down on the apex of 8 so I had to avoid all of that.

"I ended up losing a couple of tenths that would have been enough to get through," he pointed out. "I was half a second off P1 so it was just a complete disaster, unfortunately."

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing. 25.05.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Qualifying Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

Even before the messy qualifying, Perez had been struggling for pace around Monaco as had his team mate Max Verstappen who said that his own car was bouncing like a kangaroo.

While Verstappen was significantly improved on Saturday after team had Liam Lawson working on the simulator back in Milton Keynes overnight, Perez still looked all at sea.

He managed to find his way up to fifth in final practice but complained that his Red Bull was still "nowhere" in the run-up to qualifying.

"This morning we were finding the light, you know - I was P5," he said. "We made some more changes, but unfortunately, there were not enough to come through.

"Basically the weekend is totally over because here there is no chance to overtake, unfortunately," he admitted. "And it hurts a lot, you know.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB20.
25.05.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Qualifying Day.
-, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

"I think just by putting normal lap in, it would have been enough, but with the traffic that we encountered, it was really difficult."

Even though Verstappen fared much better in qualifying it still wasn't enough to allow him to extend his run of eight consecutive poles and a sweep of all seven so far in 2024.

Even before he tapped the wall on his last flying lap in Q3, Verstappen looked to be out of range of pipping Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri to front row positions today.

While it might be the unique nature of the circuit in Monaco as well as Imola, it's the first serious chink in Red Bull's armour that their rivals have been able to glimpse in getting on for two seasons. Is a sea change coming to F1?

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