- Checo collided with Charles Leclerc in the first corner and had to retire
- It’s a disappointing end to a week that was so promising for the hometown man
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For Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez, the day at his home race – the Mexico City Grand Prix – ended suddenly and unfortunately, before he had even made it through the first corner.
At the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Perez started the race in fifth place and made a great jump from the finish line.
But he went wide three times in Turn 1 – with teammate Max Verstappen on the inside and pole sitter Charles Leclerc in between.
Perez overturned Leclerc’s Ferrari – with his right rear tire grazing Leclerc’s left front tire.
Perez’s car was thrown into the air and caused severe damage to the structure of his vehicle.
For Sergio Perez, the day ended prematurely before he had even made it through the first corner in Mexico City
Perez (front right) went wide three times in turn one, teammate Max Verstappen (front left) on the inside and Ferrari driver and pole sitter Charles Leclerc in between
Perez’s right rear tire collided with Leclerc’s front left tire, sending him flying
Perez was forced to drive his car back to the paddock, where Red Bull assessed the damage and decided to withdraw the vehicle from traffic.
The accident also damaged Leclerc’s front wing – the end plate was hanging off for a few laps.
Eventually it fell off the Ferrari and a virtual safety car was deployed on the track.
Verstappen was able to take the lead out of the first corner after starting from P3.
It’s a disappointing end to a week that was so promising for ‘Checo’ – who had hoped to use the momentum at home to improve on their poor form.
Perez has not reached the top spot on the podium since Azerbaijan, achieving three P2 finishes and two P3 finishes.
He has now watched his teammate Verstappen win 13 races since Baku.
Perez drove the car back to the paddock – where Red Bull retired the vehicle
It’s a frustrating end to the week for Perez – who had hoped to make amends to his home fans
Perez has had a particularly difficult time in the last five races – with two retirements, including this one. He also finished eighth in Singapore, tenth in Qatar and fourth in Austin at the United States Grand Prix.
After that strong race last weekend and finishing third in FP1 and FP3, he was hoping to usher in a new momentum amid rumors of discord between him and Red Bull bosses.
But fifth place in qualifying wasn’t an ideal start and this retirement doesn’t make things much better.
He will try to get it all back in hand next week at Interlagos for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil.