Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Monaco, 2023

“I can’t believe what I’ve done” says Perez as crash leaves him last on grid

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez said he was “very sorry” to his Red Bull team after he crashed out early in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Last year’s winner will start at the very back of the grid for Sunday’s race after he lost control of his car on the way into Sainte Devote on his fifth lap of the session, crashing hard into the barriers and wrecking the rear of his RB19.

“It’s an unbelievable day,” Perez told media including RaceFans after the session. “I cannot believe what I’ve done.

“It just caught me by surprise. Just getting the rear out of shape – especially really late into the corner, that really caught me out.

“It’s the way how we were trying to get the lap time out of it, but it just went over the limit and I became a passenger. There was nothing else I could do, because it was really late in the corner and I could not cut the corner or go out of the corner.”

Perez said that the crash was “a big mistake from my side” and admitted that he was “very sorry to my team.”

“It came around as a big surprise,” he continued. “But saying that is not an excuse – I should have done better today.

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2023
Gallery: Monaco Grand Prix qualifying day in pictures
“All I can say is very sorry to my team because you put so much energy, so much work, preparing everything and then you just disappoint everyone like this – it’s not fair to my team. So I’m super-disappointed today with myself and I know that tomorrow it’s going to be an impossible race.”

After his team mate and championship rival Max Verstappen secured pole position, Perez does not expect he will be able to make his way through the field into the points around the notoriously tight Monaco street circuit.

“It’s going to be a nightmare tomorrow,” he said. “I do expect a very difficult race. Whatever you do, people just cover you and then you end up in the same position, pretty much.

“I knew that we could have had a shot at pole, but I didn’t drive to my level, so that’s why I’m here.”

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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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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13 comments on ““I can’t believe what I’ve done” says Perez as crash leaves him last on grid”

  1. That would be it for calling Perez a title contender with a straight face.

    I miss the times where every team had a T-car (i.e. a spare car), so after a crash like this Perez would be able to jump in it and continue the session.

    1. Don’t understand why anyone would ever call Perez a contender in the first place, but besides that this seemed to be an error that can occur to anyone. And if it is Monaco the effect on your race on Sunday is just enormous.

  2. He indeed made his life difficult for tomorrow, considering the race will likely be entirely dry.
    I think he’ll even struggle to reach P10 under normal circumstances, which would, of course, easily happen on a considerably more overtaking-friendly circuit.

  3. Pjotr (@pietkoster)
    27th May 2023, 17:46

    just too much pressure, the will to beat Verstappen, too confident after being called king of the street circuit. A shame from Hero to Zero.

    1. @pietkoster
      That is very harsh. You could also say that the line between top and flop is very fine. A single error can ruin the weekend. It sounds like ripping into Perez too much. I remember Verstappen going from an ultimate high in Spain in his first RBR race to a dissapointing Monaco.

      1. Coventry Climax
        28th May 2023, 1:04

        No, not harsh, just the way it is. True that Verstappen went from a high to a low, but that was -as you yourself say- just his 2nd race. And how many races has Perez done?
        Yes, they all mess up from time to time, but the best just keep it to an absolute minimum. Perez is not one of them.

        Once he messed up and the pressure is off, starting somewhere in the back, he is frequently praised for a good race, making up places towards the front.
        Sorry, but I don’t praise him for that, as it’s -and too often literally- pointless. He should not have made these mistakes in the first place but put his superior car on the starting position it belongs, and then do a strong race.

  4. Coventry Climax
    27th May 2023, 18:44

    “I knew that we could have had a shot at pole, but I didn’t drive to my level, so that’s why I’m here.”

    Sorry buddy, but you did drive to your level, which is why you’re there.
    And that’s why Ricciardo is there, to put pressure on you, which you’ve proven time and again you can’t handle.
    Without the pressure, you can usually do your normal ‘impressive’ catch up race, but not here.

    1. So as well as being slower and far less consistent than Verstappen, he’s also messed up his ‘best’ circuit, qualifying in last place. Dire. He obviously can’t handle the pressure of fighting for the championship in the best car on the grid. Red Bull should give Ricciardo another go. At least it would be some minor entertainment.

      1. Ricciardo? The one beaten by his teammates at both Alpine and McLaren? Verstappen would mop the floor with Ricciardo, by now the gap between 1st and 2nd would be 30+ points or more if Ricciardo were on the 2nd RBR. Wake Up!

  5. Probably hurt Liam’s chances of early drive.
    Did far more damage to RB than just binning it.
    Time for Adrian to get his drafting paper,set squares, and slide rule out and make hopefully hidden advancements.
    May as well let smiley have a go as long as he knows foremost his job is just to keep out of trouble.

  6. Perez made sure everybody now knows what their floor looks like… would this have been the final run in Q-3 the mistake would be acceptable, but this is proof Checco is just an average driver in a great car.

    1. That’s Hamilton’s car. not RBR floor. But nice try, only thing is you made sure to show your hate for Perez.

      1. You do realize there are RB’s floor pics out in the internet even if its not put in this article after the crash.

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