Sergio Perez says his prospects of pole position at the Turkish Grand Prix were undone when he came across Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi.
Perez went fastest in Q3 having been among the first to switch from Wets to Intermediates as conditions gradually improved at a slippery Istanbul Park.
A half-spin through Turn 4 thwarted his chances and then on his next lap he had another spin through Turn 7, meaning he was unable to improve.
Perez was demoted by Racing Point team-mate Lance Stroll and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
He will nonetheless line up from third place – marking the best qualifying result of his career.
“My final lap was going really well, a very strong first sector,” said Perez.
“But I got caught out with Giovinazzi and that was it really. I tried to overtake him but I just simply lost the rear end into Turn 7, spun out and there was nothing more I could do.”
Perez praised the early call for Intermediates and is optimistic that Racing Point’s strong grid positions will boost its prospects in the close fight for third in the Constructors’ Championship.
“The call was good in the beginning to stay on the Intermediates – I think the Intermediates worked really well for us,” he said.
“But I think just the timing there at the end with the track getting a lot better in the final stages kept us from pole. “On the other hand it’s a great result for the team and hopefully tomorrow we can make it into a lot of points for us.”