Sergio Perez dents his own title hopes with P20 start at Monaco GP

Thomas Maher
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez crashes in qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, May 2023.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez crashes in qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, May 2023.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez brought out the red flags just a few minutes into the first part of qualifying in Monaco, dooming him to start from the back.

Just seven minutes into the Q1 portion of qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix, Perez brought out the red flags as he hit the barriers hard at Ste. Devote.

Setting off on a flying lap, Perez appeared to completely misjudge his braking into the first corner and struck the barriers with the front left side of his RB19, ripping a hole in the sidepods as he came to a halt blocking the middle of the track.

“F**k, I crashed, I crashed,” he said, sounding quite upset over team radio as he climbed out with the red flags being shown by the marshals neutralising the session.

Perez had already set a flying lap, putting him in fifth place at the time of the red flag.

But any chance of a potential 15th place grid slot quickly disappeared, as the pace ramped up over the remaining 11 minutes of the session once it resumed, with Perez finishing in 20th and two seconds off the ultimate pace which was set by Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen.

It’s a serious blow for Perez’s championship hopes, with overtaking a near-impossibility at the tight and tortuous Monte Carlo circuit. It’s quite likely Perez will take a fresh gearbox for the event, given the extent of the impact with the barrier, although Red Bull are yet to confirm such a circumstance.

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