Sergio Pérez’s weekend went from bad to worse on Sunday, as the pain from sliding off the circuit in Q2 on Saturday, continued into the Grand Prix, where on Lap 8, he retired his Red Bull car with gearbox issues.
Starting in thirteenth, the Mexican driver had already overtaken the Williams of Albon and the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas by Lap 2. He deftly made his way to 10th and was lining up McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, until he came to a stop in Sector 2, triggering the Virtual Safety Car.
“It’s been a weekend to forget,” said Perez. “We think it was a gearbox issue and I got stuck in gear unfortunately. Things were looking good, I had a good start, I was on the hard tyre and making progress.
“I had finally got Daniel [Ricciardo] in the McLaren out of the DRS zone, and it should have been a race where I could have worked my way through the field, so it’s a big shame. I felt I had plenty of potential in my race to make up a lot of places and recover good points.”
Over team radio, Pérez could be heard saying, ‘I lost the engine. I’m stuck in gear.’
With four second places, a P3 in the Imola Sprint, and his first Formula 1 win in Monaco, Pérez has enough points to hang onto his second place in the standings. Though his teammate, Verstappen, is now 46 points ahead.
“We need to keep on top of the reliability because a zero, when you are fighting for the championship, is very painful and costly.
“You go into new regulations and there is always going to be new problems to face. Today hurts a lot, it has been a weekend to forget for me, so I want to forget about today and move on to Silverstone.”
Until this weekend, Pérez had a 100% finishing record at Montréal. This was his second retirement of the season, the first being in Bahrain, where he shared a double retirement with teammate, Verstappen. The Championship leader has also seen two retirements this season, his second in Australia.
“It was a frustrating weekend for Checo, and we think he had a suspected gearbox issue,” said Team Principal, Christian Horner. “So, we’ll need to get the car back and have a look at what happened.
“He’s now had the same amount of mechanical failures as Max has had and we need to understand that and address that.”
Pérez will be looking to improve on his recent record at Silverstone, and gain enough points to keep his title winning hopes alive.