Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

Double retirement a “very low day” for Red Bull – Perez

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez described the Bahrain Grand Prix as a “very low day” for Red Bull after both he and team mate Max Verstappen retired from podium places in the closing laps.

Verstappen had been challenging for the win until the Safety Car restart where a problem with his Red Bull saw him passed by Carlos Sainz Jnr before pulling into retirement. Perez was then sitting in third before his car suddenly seized on the final lap under braking for the first corner, spinning him out of the race.

With Red Bull leaving the season-opening race with no points on the board, Perez said it had been a “difficult” start to the year.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Perez in response to a question from RaceFans. “It’s a very low day for our team.

“It’s a difficult start to the new year, but the positive is that we are quick – we just have to figure it out, make sure we are more reliable and understand from the issues. We’ve got some pace to find to get closer to the Ferrari.”

Perez explained that his retirement was likely caused by a fuel pump problem. “Basically just at the hairpin on the final lap, it locked completely, the rear,” he explained. “So it just died.”

Like team mate Verstappen, Perez had detected that all was not right with his RB18 long before his car suddenly failed, explaining he developed problems “a good five laps or so, when Lewis [Hamilton] was behind” before his retirement.

“I knew that it was going to be close to get it to the line, because the issue was coming progressively lap-by-lap,” Perez said.

“We thought we could have got it to the end, but unfortunately we didn’t. It’s a big disappointment because as a team we really wanted to start the season with the right foot. It was very important. It was not going to be an ideal result, but being on the podium was going to be good – still a good and solid start for the season.”

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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35 comments on “Double retirement a “very low day” for Red Bull – Perez”

  1. Indeed a very low day, but I’m sure they’ll fix the issues.

  2. Just not quick enough to beat the Ferrari’s could be expected. But a double dnf after all that hard work, man thats hard. Hope they fix it quickly and show the blue red on the podiums once again.

    1. Davethechicken
      20th March 2022, 18:50

      I don’t think Max was quick enough to beat Charles although seemed to me Sergio was quicker than Carlos. I wouldn’t rate Perez in Sainz’s league though.
      I was a little underwhelmed by the “closer racing” though. When Max and Charles were passing and repassing Max was launching from miles back with Drs, he was not on Charles gearbox at the final corner. Without the DRS I don’t think he was following significantly closer than previous years. Ditto with Perez when he was chasing Sainz, he got within a few seconds and seemed quicker but wasn’t able to close in!

      1. I thought on his 2nd or 3rd go Max would switch tactics and just try to stay close out of the first corner to try for the pass in the next DRS zone. But no.

        1. Davethechicken
          20th March 2022, 19:04

          He didn’t seem to think it through, especially the final attempt when he flat spotted.

        2. Was thinking the same, but seeing the traction of the Ferrari at the 2nd DRS zone… I think even if Verstappen would stay behind at the first corner he wouldn’t catch Leclerc either in the 2nd zone. Nonetheless it was a great fight that was exiting and clean.

        3. @david-br
          The DRS was too powerful for Max at the start finish line. He was coming like a rocket and that was too hard to resist not to make a pass. Leclerc on the other hand, has showed Alonso like racing IQ.

          1. True, alonso-like is a good word for this!

      2. I made the same observation. Max was 7 to 8 tenth behind Charles when making those passes into T1. In the last sector he lost about 3 tenth alone. Maybe it’s still too early to call the new regs a failure, but today they didn’t work. And with tires that look as fragile as ever the following driver will quickly have to forfeit.

  3. End of day it’s only one race out of 22, from the comments so far it seems like an issue that can be fixed relatively quickly (especially for a team with Red Bull’s resources), so suck it up and move past it. Still plenty enough to fight for.

    1. John Goldsmith
      21st March 2022, 18:57

      They just need the races to be shortened by a couple of laps.

  4. I feel for Robbie and other relatively level-headed RB fans…

    1. On the other hand, so thrilled to see Ferrari back up where it belongs. Glorious!

    2. don’t forget erekje

      1. TurboBT he said level headed, not empty headed :)

        1. Can’t believe comments like this are allowed on this website, this report was not accidental this time.

  5. Ferrari definitely had the edge, it might be that the track suited their car a little more than the Red Bull. It’s a shame about the reliability that these issues didn’t show up during pre-season. Hopefully they can solve them for next week and we can have another good battle.

  6. Last time the Ferraris were doing this good they were cheating..

    1. Yes I was thinking the same thing when I saw LeClerc accelerating hard out of the corners and onto the straights. I have seen this before and wonder where Ferrari have found their new horsepower gains this time…

    2. This was never confirmed, I think it was more likely a gray area the fia either had to ban or everyone else would’ve done it too. But even with that engine mercedes always had better racepace, they won spa because lewis had a slow pit stop, monza because leclerc pushed his defense to (maybe past) the limit, and singapore because they slowed everyone behind them the first stint and two scs made tire deg a nonissue

      1. Well frankly anything that ends in a secret settlement usually implies guilt on some level…

  7. Karma always wins

    1. Yep, we saw that in the last race in 2021!

      1. rewatch todays race, it feels somehow very good.

  8. Not heard of team “Karma”?

    1. I have, best example is abu dhabi last year

  9. I know he’s just guessing but fuel starvation would not lock the drivetrain up I think? That’s more like either a gearbox failure or something fairly hard got in the way of a piston or the crank.

    1. i guess those engines have enough resistance to cause the spin and lock we have seen. u know like when marshalls are not able to move a car which is not parked in neutral.

      low gear, starting to accelerate at the apex, no more fuel injected – looks possible to me.

  10. stright line speed of rbr cars are really good.

    1. it wasn’t as good as ferrari, at the restart leclerc was flying, the fact that sainz almost passed vers shows that ferrari has superior straight line speed and acceleration. Vers was only fast because of DRS.

      1. At the restart Max screwed up his car positioning and thereby the last corner. Thats why it looked odd there, but straight line speed can be judged based on the speed traps.

      2. Ferrari has a good traction that is clear and Charles used that to the maximum.

  11. Richard Gibson
    20th March 2022, 20:15

    Leclerc was immense today, especially wheel to wheel with Max – took him to school and back.
    Max not as aggressive as he usually is

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