Sergio Perez – second on the grid at Imola on Sunday – will start this afternoon with soft tyres on his Red Bull, unlike Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, who opted to qualify in Q2 on medium tyres.
The Mexican explained on Saturday evening that he had chosen the soft tyre because of the small difference in performance between the Mediums and the Tenders this year, so the Red Bull driver chose to give himself the best chance of qualifying as high up the grid as possible.
“We felt with the team that the soft tyre was a long way from where it was last year, so it’s a good tyre for the race. ” Perez explained on Saturday evening at Imola.
“It’s just different from the Medium when it matters…and it was important and crucial for me to get that learning, that consistency and that progression.”
“Last time I missed Q3 [in Bahrain on the Medium tyres], and as Lewis said, we can always look back and do better. ”
“I needed that clean qualifying, and whether it’s the right strategy or the wrong strategy, I don’t think there’s much in between [Medium and Soft]. So we’re definitely in the game. ”