‘We knew this was the price we were going to pay’ says Perez after quali crash results in P16 finish in Monaco
Sergio Perez saw his 2023 title hopes take a significant dent across the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, the Mexican finishing 16th on Sunday, having started last following his qualifying crash.
In the first segment of Saturday’s thrilling qualifying session in Monte Carlo, Perez appeared to misjudge the entry to Turn 1 – known colloquially as Saint Devote – hitting the barriers hard and causing damage to his Red Bull RB19.
Starting the race in P20 on the narrow Monegasque streets, Perez struggled to make progress, ultimately finishing two laps down on winner and team mate Max Verstappen, having hit the barriers at the Piscine corner at one point, as well as collecting the Mercedes of George Russell as rain began to fall.
“It was a really difficult day out there,” said Perez after his incident-filled race. “Everything that could have gone wrong went [wrong] and I’m really sad with the performance – but not of today basically but yesterday, with my mistake. We knew that this was the price we were going to pay.”
Perez entered the Monaco weekend just 14 points adrift of team mate Verstappen in the drivers’ standings, but leaves the Principality 39 points down on the Dutchman – and just 12 ahead of second-placed finisher Fernando Alonso – with 2022 Monaco winner Perez admitting: “It is very frustrating.
“I knew my mistake yesterday was very costly and that was 25 points, so very disappointed. I still have some hope, but I know that I cannot afford another [issue] in the championship, so I really hope I can be back to my normal level in Barcelona.”
Team Principal Christian Horner echoed Perez’s sentiments about getting back on the horse in Barcelona in a week’s time, telling the media: “It was a tough weekend for Checo [Perez], one for him to forget, but the great thing is, quickly he can bounce back in Barcelona next weekend.
“There’s so much racing to do – we’re what, six races in, 14 to go. There’s a long way to go and a lot of racing to do. We’re just taking it one race at a time, trying to get the most out of every weekend.”
Drivers' standings after Monaco
|1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing
|2 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing
|3 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin
|4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
|5 George Russell Mercedes