Sergio Perez was relieved to claim a place on the front row of the grid for the Singapore Grand Prix, admitting he's struggled in recent races.
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While his team mate Max Verstappen has won the last five rounds in a row, Perez has managed only a single podium finish during the same time.
His Singapore Grand Prix weekend did not get off to a promising start as he was over a second off the pace on Friday. But in challenging conditions on a rapidly-drying track he took advantage of Verstappen's troubles in qualifying to take second on the grid, and was only two-hundredths of a second away from beating Charles Leclerc to pole position.
"Certainly it's nice to be back on the pace," said Perez. "It's been a bit of a struggle, the last few races, so I'm pleased.
"Especially after the day we had yesterday, where it looked like another poor start with no information, we basically had a really poor Friday. So I'm pleased that that we're back to where we belong."
However he admitted he had definitely missed an opportunity to take pole position. "In such a long lap [when] you are two hundredths away from pole, you definitely lost in a few areas.
"But conditions were super-tricky today. I had a big moment into turn 13. We've been struggling a lot with the driveability and I had a massive moment under braking. I'm happy just to complete the lap because I lost quite a bit of lap time, but at the same time, I could have lost more.
"So it's a bit disappointing to be so close to pole. But on the other hand, it's a good result and I think we are in a good position to fight from there."
"It's never nice to be so close to pole," Perez added. "It always brings you back to your lap and especially in such a long lap, you know that you could have done better here or there. But I guess it's the same for everyone with these tricky conditions.
"I think we all put in a tremendous effort to put the laps with it and, at the end of the day, Charles did a better job than us today and his team. I think starting P2 we still can fight for the race."
2022 Singapore Grand Prix
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