Christian Horner bemoans ‘shocker of a race’ for Sergio Perez at Suzuka

Henry Valantine
Sergio Perez retires from the Japanese Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez is wheeled back into the Red Bull garage to retire at Suzuka.

Christian Horner has labelled the Japanese Grand Prix a “shocker of a race” for Sergio Perez, after two on-track incidents contributed to him ending his afternoon early.

A slow initial getaway saw the Red Bull driver squeezed at the start, suffering wing damage as he was sandwiched between Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton on the run down to Turn 1 and losing places.

Later on, as he was trying to make his way back through the field, he tried a hopeful lunge on Kevin Magnussen at the hairpin, but ended up being given a five-second penalty for causing a collision after making contact.

Sergio Perez suffered “shocker” of a Japanese Grand Prix

Perez was punished twice in the race having also overtaken Fernando Alonso under yellow flag conditions, giving him 10 seconds’ worth of time penalties and four extra penalty points on his super licence to boot.

On top of having retired, Perez was told to stay in his car and then suffered the ignominy of going back out later in the race for one lap, to serve the penalty that was yet to be served so he has a clean slate next time around.

Coupled with Max Verstappen taking a comfortable victory out in front, under the right circumstances in Qatar he could seal the World Championship in the Sprint at the next round.

Red Bull wrapped up the Constructors’ Championship with six races to spare at Suzuka, but team principal Horner admitted it was a tough day on the Mexican’s side of the garage.

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“I mean, it was it was a shocker of a race for him today,” Horner told Sky Sports F1 after the race.

“It got off to a bad start where he sort of got concertinaed on the rundown to Turn 1, he picked up some front wing damage, then we needed to change the front wing.

“He overtook Fernando [Alonso] on the way into the pit lane, then picked up a penalty and then came out and of course, then he dive bombed I think one of the Haases and so it was just one of those weekends.

“The only good thing was we were able to serve the penalty here, so he leaves it here in Japan.”

Read next: Japanese Grand Prix: Max Verstappen wins the race and the teams’ title, Perez implodes