Perez eventually ended up fifth overall on the timesheets, behind the two McLarens and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari.
Asked if he was happy with his showing, Perez rued: “No, it didn’t went ideal.
“I think definitely P2, front row was on the cards today, because just missing that second set in Q2 was not ideal and that put us in the backfoot to the McLaren mainly by just having one set of new tyres [in Q3], that was not ideal.”
Nobody got within half a second of Verstappen during the pole position shootout. The reigning champion lowered his initial benchmark by a tenth to clock a 1:28.877s, 0.581s clear of Oscar Piastri.
“He’s been very strong,” Perez admitted. When we see the difference that he is making he definitely had a tremendous lap and well done to him.”
Perez, though, is optimistic that he can utilise Red Bull’s strong race pace and superior tyre degradation to charge through to second behind his team-mate.
Red Bull will retain the Constructors’ Championship tomorrow if the team outscores Mercedes and avoid being outscored by Ferrari by 24 points or more.
“Anyway, let’s look forward to tomorrow,” Perez continued. “I believe that in the race pace we are strong, we have good tyre deg and hopefully we can finish 1-2 tomorrow and that would be a great way to seal the Constructors’ Championship.”
He added: “I believe that deg is going to be quite critical tomorrow.”
But the Red Bull racer is wary of the difficulty he could have in overtaking the McLarens.
“They’re very strong in that first sector, so they’re not going to be easy to pass definitely,” he conceded.