until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Perez’s Monaco crash anguish: ‘I can’t believe what I’ve done’

by Matt Beer, Edd Straw
2 min read

Sergio Perez was beyond furious with himself for crashing out of Monaco Grand Prix qualifying in Q1, an error that makes his 2023 Formula 1 world championship hopes look even more remote given Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen’s pole.

Last year’s Monaco GP winner slewed into the Sainte Devote barrier midway through the opening part of qualifying, and was quickly demoted to last on the starting grid.

“It’s an unbelievable day. I cannot believe what I’ve done,” said Perez.

“It just caught me by surprise. Just getting that rear out of shape, especially really late into the corner. That really caught me out.

“It’s a way that we were trying to get a laptime out of it, but it just went over the limit and I became a passenger.

“There was nothing else I could do because it was really late in the corner – I could not cut the corner or go out of the corner.”

Asked by The Race if he was particularly surprised by the manner in which the car slid given he would have been leaving a degree of margin as this was a banker lap, Perez admitted “it came around as a big surprise” but then resumed his tirade at himself.

“Saying that, it isn’t an excuse. I should have done better today,” he said.

“All I can say is very sorry to my team. You put in so much energy and so much work preparing everything and you just disappoint everyone like this.

“It’s not fair to my team. I’m very disappointed today with myself and I know that tomorrow is going to be an impossible race.”

When Verstappen’s pole was mentioned to him, Perez was again blunt about himself.

Sergio Perez Red Bull F1 Monaco GP

“I knew that today we could have had a shot at pole but I didn’t drive to my level so that’s why I’m here {in the media pen as opposed to the top-three press conference],” he responded.

And asked if he felt he could deploy an inventive strategy to make progress in the race, Perez said he doubted anything would actually help.

“It’s just going to be a nightmare tomorrow,” he said. “Whatever you do, people just cover you and you end up in the same position pretty much.”

Perez began the weekend 14 points behind Verstappen in the championship, having revived his title hopes with his double win in Azerbaijan before they were dealt a blow when Verstappen came through from ninth on the grid to defeat him last time out in Miami.

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