Checo Perez highlights tear-off issues affecting ‘sensitive’ F1 cars

The Red Bull driver has suffered from stray tear offs causing issue with his car


Red Bull driver Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez has lamented the issues that tear-offs have caused him throughout the 2024 F1 season after a disappointing race at the Australian Grand Prix. 

Tear-offs have been a growing issue in Formula 1 as there is no system in place to stop the visor covers from flying into a brake duct or other part of a car behind, which can cause immense damage to performance and even lead to retirements.

It was revealed by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner after the 2024 Australian GP that a tear-off got caught under the floor of Perez’s car and the Mexican ended up fifth.

Checo’s race we went long on the first [stint],” Horner explained. “His actual pace when he was coming through the field on the hard tyre as he closed in on Fernando [Alonso] was strong and matching that of the leaders.

“And then literally as he’s passed Fernando he’s picked up a tear-off underneath the floor and it’s got lodged in an area that’s caused significant load loss.”

Sergio Perez of Red Bull during the 2024 Australian Grand Prix |  Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Sergio Perez of Red Bull during the 2024 Australian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Tear-offs have angered Perez and Leclerc in the past

As Perez explained to the press ahead of the Japanese GP, he has had two tear-offs hinder his progress in the first three races of the 2024 F1 season but he is unsure of a solution. 

“Out of three races I’ve had two [tear-offs], there is something with these cars where it is getting a lot more sensitive,” Perez said.

“It’s hard, you know we tried in the past to put them in the car but it’s just really hard.”

Ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle has indicated that driver should have somewhere in the car to deposit tear-offs, rather than just throwing them out the side of the car.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc called for a change in regulations after the 2022 Belgian GP after a tear-off forced him into an early pit stop.

“I think maybe moving forward it will be good that we maybe find a solution,” said Leclerc

“We might look at something to find a way to keep the tear-off somewhere in the car. I guess there were reasons why this rule was dropped, but I’m not aware of these reasons. Maybe there are also other solutions.”

John Smith
John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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