Sergio Perez finished his final qualifying session as a McLaren driver in the wall after making a mistake in the wet conditions on Saturday in Brazil.
The Mexican driver lost control of his car on the exit of turn five on the damp track and subsequently speared into the wall on the left hand side of the hill towards turns six and seven. However, the Mexican driver emerged unhurt and played down the severity of the shunt after qualifying.
“My accident in Q2 looked bigger than it actually was,” Perez explained. “As soon as I lost the car, I went over the grass and hit the wall, but it was only a slight hit, and the car wasn’t too badly damaged.
“It was a pity, but I was giving it my all. I knew it was my last opportunity to set a time; it was getting wetter, and I was pushing right to the limit, because I knew the car wasn’t responding well. I was trying my hardest, in other words.”
Nevertheless, Perez still finished in fourteenth place and ahead of teammate Jenson Button who finished one place further back in P15. The Mexican driver remains confident that he can make up for his error during the race tomorrow in what will be his final race for McLaren.
“In similar conditions, I still think we can make up some positions tomorrow,” Perez said. “I’m looking forward to the race – I hope we can end the season on a high.”
Perez will leave the team at the end of the season to make way for junior driver Kevin Magnussen, who will make his debut with McLaren in 2014. Perez is thought to be in talks with Force India and Sauber over a drive, but he is yet to confirm who he will drive for next season.
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.