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Christian Horner frustrated by Sergio Perez's early Austrian GP qualifying exit - 'just stay within the white lines'

Sergio Perez exits Austrian GP Qualifying in Q2 after having three laps deleted for track limits; Perez will start Sunday's race from P15, Max Verstappen on pole; watch Austrian GP Sprint Shootout live on Sky Sports F1 at 11am on Saturday, followed by the Sprint at 3:30pm

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner shares his frustration after Sergio Perez dropped out in Q2 after a lap time deletion

Christian Horner could not hide his frustration after Sergio Perez suffered another early exit in qualifying at the Austrian GP.

The Mexican failed to get into Q3 for the fourth consecutive race in the dominant Red Bull after having three laps deleted for track limit infringements during the second part of Friday's qualifying session.

Max Verstappen also had lap times deleted in Q1 and Q2 but made sure his follow-up laps kept part of his car within the white lines through all corners. The Dutchman will start on pole again, while Perez will be lining up 15th on Sunday.

"He's got the pace today, he's got a car that was easily capable of being on the first or second row, he was matching Max's times, stay in the white lines!" Horner told Sky Sports F1.

"It was strike one, strike two, 'Checo just stay in the white lines!' strike three, and that was it.

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George Russell and Perez are out at qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix

"Just hugely frustrating because he could have he could have been there, he could have done it. That's the frustration. It's fantastic that we got the pole, but it feels not complete.

"At least [Max] responded to 'stay in the white lines' - he did that so he built a conservatism into his laps to make sure that he had a wheel inside the line. There was a little bit more time in the car in that last sector if he hadn't have gone for it. It was about driving with a bit of restraint.

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"It was crystal clear [that it was his last opportunity]. It's hugely frustrating. The frustrating thing is we know he can do it, he did a 4.9 on that lap, he was three hundredths off Max. He could have been four tenths slower and still been in.

"So Q2, that's not the time to be doing it. That was the frustrating thing because he could have done it today.

"It is the same for everybody, there's a car ahead which is not going to have helped but then you build in a little more margin.

"It's annoying because we know he could have been there.

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Highlights from qualifying at the Austrian GP.

"The most pressure he's under, is the pressure he puts him under himself. Today he had the pace, Practice One he was right there, the lap times he was doing, he was tenth for tenth with Max today. So that's the annoying thing, that's the frustration. He can do it.

"It's just a great shame because I think this would have really kickstarted things for him and of course, the frustration for us as a team is now we have two Ferraris a little closer versus one Red Bull with Checo out of position."

Perez unhappy with stewards: 'The system is wrong'

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Perez reflects on a frustrating qualifying session after he was dropped out in Q2 after a deleted lap time

Perez had lifted himself up to second in Q2 with his final effort in the segment before it was then deleted with the chequered flag already out.

The Mexican admitted his first two deletions were fair but criticised the race stewards for not taking into account that he felt he had been compromised by Alex Albon's Williams through the final corners on his last run which caused him to go wide.

"Once I got the feedback it was on the way to Turn 10 it was all clear," Perez said.

"On my final lap I found I think Albon and I just went straight, I could not stop. I think I lost a tenth or a bit more than that just going straight but the stewards wouldn't consider that I was blocked.

"There are so many things I can control but unfortunately this one - you are closing a good lap and all of a sudden you are blocked and you have a penalty. I think the system is wrong.

"We will try [to recover something on Sunday]. It's just frustrating that we do not have a good system and we are not able to consider when these things happen."

Verstappen: "Silly" track limits made us look like "amateurs"

In total 47 lap times were deleted over the course of Saturday's qualifying hour.

Pole-sitter Verstappen had his first laps of Q1 and Q2 deleted for his own infringements and the reigning world champion felt the number of laps being deleted was a poor look for Formula 1.

He said in the post-qualifying press conference: "I think today looked very silly. It almost looked like we were amateurs out there the amount of lap times that were getting deleted. Some of them were so marginal - when it's so marginal it's impossible to judge if it's out or in. They were still getting deleted. I don't think it was a good look today.

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Sky F1's Ted Kravitz looks back at all the big talking points from qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix

"Of course people can say: 'Yeah then stay within the white lines'. Well if it was that easy then you can take my car and try it but probably you won't even get up to speed in time."

He added: "If you saw the amount of lap times that were getting deleted today by the amount of drivers, it's clearly not that easy and I don't think we're all idiots out there. Normally we are quite good at judging where the limit is."

Watch Austrian GP Sprint Shootout live on Sky Sports F1 at 11am on Saturday, followed by the Sprint at 3:30pm. Lights out for Sunday's race is at 2pm.

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