Problems for Red Bull as Sergio Perez’s RB20 gets a ‘bit too hot’ in Bahrain

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez heads out in the RB20.

Sergio Perez in action in the Red Bull RB20.

After Max Verstappen’s 140-plus laps on Wednesday, Sergio Perez found himself sidelined early Thursday morning as his front left brake caught fire when he returned to the pits after his first run.

Red Bull dominated Day One of pre-season testing with Verstappen topping both the timesheet and the lap count.

Alas, his team-mate Perez didn’t have that sort of fortune on Thursday as, yet to put in a proper flying lap and some six seconds down on Charles Leclerc, he pulled into the pits and his brakes caught fire.

‘It’s the kind of thing that can happen’

Perez’s team told’s Thomas Maher that the “front brakes got a bit too hot and we’re just making some corrections now before we head back out.”

Brake issues, and the potential for a small fire, are not unusual occurrences in Formula 1 as pit lane reporter Ted Kravitz explained.

“It’s one thing being a second ahead of everybody else, but the car has to be reliable and it’s not,” he said. “For the moment the car of Checo Perez, the RB20, is in bits with a brake problem in the garage.

“As I understand, when the car came in there was a little brake fire so we have a small overheating brake problem at Red Bull.

“It’s the kind of thing that can happen. I’ve seen it happen before when the brake material is new as it will be today. recommends

Ranked: All 2024 F1 liveries with dull carbon fibre ruining once-vibrant cars

F1 2024 calendar: Pre-season testing, TV schedule, full race schedule

“Coming in, and if the driver has been working it very hard as he is absolutely right to do, nothing Checo has done wrong, then you can get a bit of overheating.

“Maybe temperatures get towards 900, 1000 degrees and then start to overheat, the cooling wasn’t quite right or they’ve got some other issue that’s meant the brake was not doing as it does.”

“These calipers, the way they’re made, it’s a piece of art but it’s a piece of art that’s not working particularly well at the moment.”

It wasn’t long, though, before Red Bull got him back into the action with the Mexican driver only losing 20 minutes of running.

Read next: F1 Testing 2024 LIVE: Follow all the latest updates from Day 2 in Bahrain