Sergio Perez opens up on ‘total disaster’ after shock Canada Grand Prix exit

Jamie Woodhouse
Sergio Perez in the Red Bull RB20 at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix.

Sergio Perez in the Red Bull RB20.

A very downbeat Sergio Perez lamented struggles with the rear axle on his Red Bull after suffering consecutive Q1 eliminations.

With a new multi-year Red Bull contract signed and sealed ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, Perez looked to put the frustrations of Monaco firmly in the rear-view mirror, but instead found himself having to come to terms with back-to-back exits at the Q1 stage.

Sergio Perez brands Canadian GP qualifying ‘total disaster’

While team-mate Max Verstappen comfortably set the Q1 pace, Perez was almost a second further back, which was enough to see him fall at the first hurdle.

Speaking to Sky F1 after his elimination, Perez said his struggles revolved around the rear of his Red Bull RB20, admitting that qualifying proved to be a “total disaster” for him.

Asked what the main problem was, Perez replied: “Yeah, the main thing was really to switch on the rear. The rear axle for me was quite tricky.

“And ended up paying the price with it because basically, I just had no grip, I was sliding too much around it and that meant that basically our qualifying was a total disaster.”

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In Monaco Red Bull struggled to ride the bumps and kerbs, with P6 for Verstappen the best they could manage around the streets of Monte Carlo.

But, Perez reiterated that the rear axle was the issue for him in Canada, rather than further struggles over the kerbs.

“I think it was more a tyre thing than the kerb thing,” he said.

“In these conditions somehow we were not able to switch on the rear axle, I couldn’t lean on it at all.

“I just didn’t have any confidence at the time to push it, so it was a total disaster unfortunately.”

With spots of rain coming and going throughout qualifying which never made the intermediate tyres a serious consideration, the heavy downpour which arrived afterwards marked a continuation of the changeable conditions seen throughout the race weekend so far, with more rain potentially on the cards for Grand Prix Sunday.

So, with Perez once again stressing that qualifying was a “total disaster”, he now looks to the skies and strategy options to help shape a recovery drive.

Asked what he thinks is possible in the race, Perez replied: “Yeah, it’s a total disaster, but let’s see what happens with the weather and what we can do with the strategy as well.”

Verstappen will launch from the front row in Canada, after setting an identical time to that of polesitter George Russell.

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