Sergio Perez says Force India discovered a damaged brake duct which hampered his qualifying performance at the United States Grand Prix.

Having been competitive in Q1, Perez was unable to improve on his lap time in the second part of qualifying and dropped out in 11th place. With team-mate Nico Hulkenberg 0.7s quicker in the same session, Perez says Force India found a cause for his lack of pace following the end of qualifying.

“I’m very happy that finally we have found the issue with my car,” Perez said. “We missed a big part of a brake duct which obviously caused a lot of the issues, so I think in normal conditions we would definitely have been through to Q3.

“It’s not ideal, but I’m happy that at least we’re going into the race knowing what went so wrong in qualifying and I think from that point of view we can go forwards.”

Starting from 11th gives Force India freedom to choose the tyres Perez starts the race on, a tactic Williams used to its advantage in Malaysia. However, the Mexican doesn’t believe it is as beneficial this weekend.

“We’re still going through the different options that we have and hopefully we can pick up the right one for us.

“I mean there are more options available but I think here is very different to Malaysia. It’s all about getting that first stint in place, a short one because it’s a relatively short stint and to position yourself well so the start.

“[The race pace is] very comparable, pretty much identical to be honest. So it’s going to be a long and tough race for me.”

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