Perez and team-mate Lance Stroll were over a second-and-a-half off pace-setter Valtteri Bottas after Friday practice, with the Canadian never looking settled on his return to action after missing the Eifel Grand Prix through illness and subsequent positive Covid-19 test.
While Stroll failed to rally in qualifying as he will start 12th, Perez delivered a superb performance to line up fifth, a position he credits his team with as much as himself.
“In those difficult conditions it was good,” said Perez. “Good performance by the team, also.
“Yesterday we were so lost. We changed the car upside down, the tyre preparation, everything.
“I think we’ve done a pretty good job to come back and be there. I think it’s a nice position to start the race.”
With only Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari ahead of him, alongside the usual trio of Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, Perez is set for another significant haul of points from the race.
Famed for his tyre management during the course of a grand prix, the Mexican thinks preserving life in the soft compound in the first stint could be crucial to beat his midfield rivals.
“I think it’s going to be a race of people probably getting the tyre too hot early on and having to pit,” predicted Perez.
“I expect a lot of the guys have been very aggressive with the pitting levels, with the preparation of the tyre.”
Before you go…