Perez, Magnussen and Hulkenberg share contrasting views on start pile-up in Monaco

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: The destroyed car of Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull

Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg were forced to watch the vast majority of the Monaco Grand Prix from the sidelines after all three drivers retired via a dramatic collision on the opening lap.

Perez started Sunday’s encounter out of position following a shock Q1 exit, while Magnussen and Hulkenberg had lined up at the back of the grid thanks to being excluded from qualifying over a rear wing breach, meaning they entered Sainte Devote together.

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Magnussen, having jumped Haas team mate Hulkenberg off the line, then attempted to clear Perez on the run up Beau Rivage, only to tag the rear of the Red Bull as their lines converged and send them both into the barriers at speed.

Hulkenberg did his best to take avoiding action but ultimately had nowhere to go on the narrow streets, getting collected by Perez further up the hill and meaning the three drivers came to a halt with significant damage to their cars.

“I lost a position to one of the [Kick Saubers],” said Perez, as he began to explain his start. “It’s Lap 1, it’s just important if you are not in the right position, automatically you are going to end up losing.

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“I was getting out of the corner, I had basically… On my onboard there is no point where you see Kevin and I was just pretty surprised that he kept it flat at that point, because it was just very unnecessary.

“We had a lot of damage, we had a very dangerous incident. It was a massive incident, and my car is completely destroyed.”

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Giving his side of the story, Magnussen said: “I think I was with my front alongside Perez’s rear, from the exit of Turn 1 on the run up to Turn 3. He goes towards the wall, the wall comes a little bit back towards the track, and I had nowhere to go.

“I don’t know if he didn’t see me or what, but I can’t just disappear out of the blue. I made contact with the wall and him at the same time, and unfortunately we had a crash.

“It’s always frustrating. Also a crash like this is a big cost for the team, in terms of spare parts and having to make new parts – a lot of work for the guys. It’s never good.”

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Hulkenberg, being the innocent victim, suggested that both Magnussen and Perez could potentially have done more to avoid banging wheels and crashing out of proceedings.

“Disappointed… Gutted, to be honest,” he explained to media afterwards. “To be out after 500 metres is obviously far from ideal – also both [Haas] cars out.

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“I got taken out by an incident that I wasn’t directly involved in, but obviously it’s quite narrow here, going up to Turn 3. A big shame, things were getting too tight there.

“I think somewhat a racing incident… It looked maybe a bit optimistic from Kevin, but I don’t know, Checo could have also maybe seen him and left room, so unfortunate, obviously, the outcome.”

The stewards noted the incident at the time but opted against handing out any penalties, though they did sanction Esteban Ocon for a separate clash with his Alpine team mate Pierre Gasly.


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