Sergio Perez says he “lost his lap” during the final moments of qualifying after he was caught behind Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo.

During a frantic final qualifying session for the Turkish Grand Prix, Perez had been on provisional pole in the final minutes after using his intermediate tyres set the quickest time.

The Racing Point driver claims that his final lap of the session was spoilt by Giovinazzi. The Alfa Romeo driver left the track and rejoined in front of him at turn four, then held his racing line.

Perez tried to pass the Alfa Romeo at turn seven, but spun. “Giovinazzi just fucked us,” he told his team after falling from provisional pole position to third at the end of the session.

His team mate Lance Stroll took pole. “It was a great result for the team – something we weren’t really expecting,” Perez told media after qualifying. “I’m very pleased.

“In the end we were just unlucky. My final lap, when the car was at its best, I had Giovinazzi in front and he simply didn’t move out of the way. Then I lost my lap.”

Perez hailed the decision to run on the intermediate tyres on the drying track at the start of the final qualifying session.

“It was a great call,” said Perez. “I think since the beginning we were pretty strong. Obviously track position was key today, to be able to maintain the temperature in your tyres.”

Despite the disappointment on losing out on a front row start, Perez says he finds the idea of starting from the third grid slot on the racing line preferable to starting from second on the troublesome Turkish tarmac.

“I think we’re in a great position,” he says.

“I definitely prefer third to second. I think tomorrow, at the start, that will be a big difference.”

However the grid positions may yet change. Stroll is under investigation for failing to slow sufficiently for the yellow flags triggered by Perez’s spin.

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2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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