Christian Horner reacts as Sergio Perez suffers embarrassing FP1 crash in Hungary

Sam Cooper
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez looks reflective after the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race. Styria, July 2023.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez looks reflective after the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race. Styria, July 2023.

Sergio Perez has heaped even more pressure on himself by crashing heavily during FP1 of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

With all eyes on Daniel Ricciardo as he makes his return to F1, Perez quickly became the centre of attention with the image of his RB19 smashed into the barrier.

Within the first five minutes of the weekend’s running, Perez was exiting Turn 4 when he dipped his front left on the grass and lost control, spinning heavily into the barrier at Turn 5.

A distraught Perez came over the team radio to say “I cannot believe this. I clipped the grass I think. On braking. I just lost it.”

It was the front left corner that took the brunt of the impact with the new brake duct and sidepod inlet taking damage and the front wing destroyed.

The crash could not have come at a worse time for Red Bull having just fitted significant upgrades to the RB19. While Red Bull will have enough spares to repair Perez’s car for FP2, any further crashes may start to cause some problems.

His team-mate Max Verstappen took to the radio to ask if Perez was okay to which race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase replied yes.

Team boss Christian Horner was hopeful the damage was limited to a small area of the car.

“It’s obviously frustrating to have had that off,” he told Sky Sports F1. “We haven’t got the car back yet but hopefully it’s contained mainly to the front right [sic] corner which hopefully will be repairable in time for the next session.

“It was unfortunate. He just put a wheel on the grass and made a mistake into Turn 5.

“I haven’t had  chance to speak to him yet, I will do after the session, but hopefully he won’t have lost too much through this session because in these conditions, people aren’t getting any laps in but not obviously the ideal way to start the weekend.”

For Perez, it was another unwanted incident at a time when his seat appears more under threat than ever.

Speaking ahead of the weekend’s running, Perez insisted he was not paying attention to Ricciardo’s comeback.

“I’ve been in F1 for 13 years so I don’t think further ahead,” he told the media in Hungary. “I’m dealing with my engineers and to be honest I don’t even have the time to discuss what’s going on with Daniel.

‘It’s a great opportunity for him, and that’s it.

“I’m focusing on Hungary and Belgium, I’m not thinking about 2025, it’s so far ahead.”