Perez a ‘passenger’ in costly sprint qualifying spin

Date published: July 17 2021 - Henry Valantine

Sergio Perez

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez said it was a “very low day” for him at Silverstone after losing control at high speed during sprint qualifying on Saturday.

He dropped to the back of the pack after spinning a full 360 degrees while chasing the McLaren of Lando Norris through Maggots, Becketts and Chapel, spinning off into the gravel and damaging his car but narrowly avoiding the barrier.

Perez managed to keep his Red Bull going in the shortened 17-lap dash to set the grid for the British Grand Prix but could not finish in the end, instructed to retire the car, while team-mate Max Verstappen stole pole position away from Lewis Hamilton at the front.

The Mexican said he was unable to rectify his oversteer in time to get a good exit and challenge Norris ahead.

“Basically, I became a passenger very early in the corner as I was picking up the throttle,” the Red Bull driver told Sky F1. “It really hurt me and put me out of position, there was nothing I could do.

“[It’s] a big shame. I’m very sorry for the team, it’s been a very low day from my side, but tomorrow is a new day and I look forward to it.

“It’s hard [to pick myself up] after days like today, but tomorrow is a new opportunity to figure out what we are able to do better.”

Perez’s incident caused significant damage that not only dropped him to the back of the field, it also means he will start Sunday’s race from the pit lane with Red Bull opting to make some set-up changes.

Perez explained he could not continue at full speed after his spin.

You can follow all the action from the brand-new sprint race weekend via F1 TV Pro! Subscribe here for the ultimate F1 viewing experience.

F1 TV Access, meanwhile, is available in over 30 territories and the full list of eligible countries can be found here.

“We had pretty bad vibrations from the lock-up, so we’ll just look to try and finish in a safe way,” he added.

Perez’s former McLaren team-mate, Jenson Button, felt it was “weird” for Perez to spin out in that fashion around the high-speed section of Becketts.

“It’s a really weird incident,” said the 2009 World Champion on Sky F1. “You never really get oversteer there. It’s like he hit an oil patch on the circuit – he didn’t, but it’s very, very strange.

“Normally you get a bit of understeer in the tow or a tiny bit of oversteer, but not a snap like that. Very, very unusual.”

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1, like our Facebook page and join us on Instagram!