MGU-K problem caused Perez’s Bahrain podium heartbreak
Sergio Perez was robbed of back-to-back podiums for the first time in his Formula 1 career when huge plumes of smoke and then flames emerged from the rear of his Racing Point late in the Bahrain Grand Prix, Perez saying it was an MGU-K electrical problem that forced his ultimate retirement.
The Mexican was set to consolidate his position of fourth in the drivers’ standings, having spent most of the race in the podium places with supreme tyre management and was on course to finish third, behind race winner Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
But with three laps to go, Perez having a comfortable gap to Red Bull’s Alex Albon in fourth, the Mexican started to slow before peeling off track and parking the car. Following analysis, the mechanical problem was diagnosed as an MGU-K problem.
“I think we executed a perfect race and the podium was definitely ours – it was going to be one of my best in Formula 1,” said Perez. “It was gutting to retire with three laps left due to an MGU-K electrical issue.
“We were going to finish ahead of a Red Bull and a Mercedes, which is a great credit to all of us at the team, and we’d done such a good job all weekend too.
“We’ve lost out on some really important points today, which makes it a bit more difficult in the drivers’ and constructors’ championship battles, but the positive is that there are still two more races to make up for it.”
The retirement ended Perez’s streak of 18 consecutive race finishes in the points, and dropped him to fifth in the drivers’ standings, two points shy of Daniel Ricciardo with two races to go.