Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Monaco, 2023

Perez apologises to Red Bull after “unacceptable” mistake and point-less race

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez apologised to his Red Bull team after leaving the Monaco Grand Prix empty-handed.

Last year’s winner started today’s race from last place as a result of his crash in qualifying. He finished 16th after a scrappy race which included clashes with George Russell, Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen.

“I think we’ve paid the price for my mistake,” he told media including RaceFans afterwards. “That’s been very costly.”

Max Verstappen’s win means Perez has fallen from 14 points off the championship lead to 39 adrift.

“I just have to apologise to my whole team because it is unacceptable to have this kind of mistake,” he said. “I just have to move on, learn from it, and I cannot afford another zero in the championship.”

Perez’s race got off to an encouraging start. He pitted at the end of the first lap for hard tyres and quickly caught the rear of the field, putting him in a position to benefit from drivers ahead pitting.

“It was going really well,” he said. “Unfortunately I hit the traffic fairly early and that pulled us back to the original position.”

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Gallery: 2023 Monaco Grand Prix in pictures
He tangled with Stroll as he tried to follow his team mate through while Verstappen was lapping the pair of them. He was forced to make a second pit stop when he ran into Magnussen after the Haas driver skidded on the way into the chicane and slowed.

“I broke my front wing with Magnussen who just braked out of the chicane,” said Perez. “It just went bad. When you are in those positions you always have to risk a lot.”

“I had no idea what was going on,” he added. “But unfortunately I had quite some damage.”

Perez said he should have reacted sooner to the shower which hit the track late in the race. “Then the rain came, we were one of the last ones to pit,” he said. “And then I clipped the wall. It was just sort all of a mess.”

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
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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22 comments on “Perez apologises to Red Bull after “unacceptable” mistake and point-less race”

  1. My sound a bit harsh since he already has two wins this season, but he could be driving for his future soon if he doesn’t stop having these messy weekends. Red Bull do like a change.

    The Q1 crash was very amateur, and basically began the quick unraveling of his weekend.

    1. Mmm, I don’t know, I don’t think he’s risking. Imagine a bad performance from rosberg in the merc dominant era, we have a pretty weak 2015, I don’t think he was under threat, because if the 2 drivers fight they make races more exciting, but if one dominates there’s less issues for the team to deal with, so I don’t think an underperforming number 2 driver with a dominant car is reason for replacement; now, if the opponents caught up and perez scoring points started being important for the constructor’s championship, it would be different.

    2. @bernasaurus – I doubt he’d be under threat to get his contract terminated.
      @esploratore1 – Indeed.

  2. Checo overdriving the car because he mistakenly believes to be in the fight for the Championship was not pretty.

  3. Rick Lopez (@viscountviktor)
    28th May 2023, 19:05

    Get Lando in for next season.

  4. Yes, this was indeed a mess Sergio.

    1. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend)
      29th May 2023, 7:58

      And because he crashed, now the world has taken good look at the RB floor. Team must be fuming at that.

  5. Making a mistake in qualifying happens. But there was no reason for a driver in the fastest car on the grid to push and lose it in Q1. The race showed why: Perez had a poor race too, but even a good race wouldn’t have seen him achieve much. Push in Q3 and at least you’re in the points still if you mess up. That follows his bad weekend in Melbourne (supposedly due to a ‘technical issue’). So far he’s probably had one good race, Baku. Without that, he’d now be under serious pressure already. He has been closer in speed terms to Verstappen this season, a bit, but his consistency is off-the-grid worse. The worst Verstappen performance so far this year saw him second in Saudi Arabia.

  6. Checo was back on 2021 level all of a sudden. Lets hope for RedBull it was a one off.

  7. And this guy thinks he can win a Championship. Hahahahah I don’t think he’s ever beat Max on raw pace, I face don’t all his wins come with en extreme amount of good fortune?

    1. He actually impressed me in a couple of occasions this season, like saudi and baku: it’s true, there’s been some luck involved, such as verstappen recovering from the back in one and a lucky SC pit stop in another, but he looked like he was on verstappen’s pace in both occasions, which surprised me.

  8. When everyone crowned him the king of streets after Baku he probably did get a bit overzealous. The two street tracks that followed his non-street king teammate completely bossed, so perhaps it’s time to pass the crown along.

    1. The truth is that the newly crowned ‘street king’ was slower than Max at all street circuits except Baku. So what was different in Baku then? Baku offered two less FP’s to set up the car and unfortunately Max didn’t get it right. Street king my derriere.

      1. Yeah pretty much this, and now we are gonna have Mercedes making slow ingress with AM right in it too. So even P2 might be difficult to come by if he doesnt improve his consistency.

  9. BW (@deliberator)
    28th May 2023, 22:27

    I would say a few more zeros shouldn’t hurt his championship aspirations too much. He will safely cruise to 2nd in the standings in any case.

    1. F1 has to pretend there is a championship fight; at least until after European races.

      So fair enough that Pérez is playing along. And as non-existent as his actual chance at winning the title may be, at least he’s guaranteed 2nd in the standings which is more than 18 other drivers can say.

      1. The commentators let us notice today that alonso, who’s been incredibly consistent, is dangerously close to perez in the standings, ofc he’d need perez to keep making mistakes, but that would look pretty bad, car considered, and we mustn’t forget aston martin are really doing a good job so far this year, so who knows, if they get closer he might actually beat him in raw pace.

        1. BW (@deliberator)
          29th May 2023, 5:25

          Actually, I fear now that there is a very realistic chance that Alonso could beat Perez to 2nd in the drivers standings. So perhaps my original assessment of “safely cruise to 2nd” is not so safe at all in Perez’s hands.

  10. Waste of a good seat, too many off days. If Mercedes catch up more we’ll see more embarrassing performances from Perez as his 3-5 tenth defect to Verstappen seems him more frequently off the front row in qualifying. Just a shame there is no actual competition for the Red Bull so they’ll walk the WCC with ease anyway.

  11. Sergio is a mediocre driver at best. That’s all he’ll ever be. A decent driver with his amount of experience simply should not be making these types of mistakes.

  12. Indeed a messy weekend for him without anything really going right.
    I never considered him being able to provide a genuine championship challenge anyway, though, so most likely the gap increasing to 39 points is inconsequential in this regard.

  13. You eather retire as a 2nd driver or fight long enough to become the 1st one.

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