Checo Perez explains Japanese GP crash and who was responsible

It was a race to forget for Sergio Perez in Japan

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Sergio Perez has taken the blame for his early race crash with Kevin Magnussen at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix that caused the Mexican to retire from the race.

On the weekend when Red Bull claimed their sixth Constructors’ Championship, Perez‘s race began to unfold as soon as the first braking zone as he was sandwiched by Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton, resulting in front-wing end-plate damage that forced a pit-stop.

From there it only got worse. As Perez exited the pit-lane he overtook cars whilst re-joining the track, despite the race being under safety car conditions which led to a five-second time penalty.

His day effectively ended at Turn 11 hairpin whilst trying to pass Magnussen‘s Haas. The Danish driver provided a staunch, but fair, defence and in his desperation to recover his race, Perez sent it up the inside into the slow corner.

He had misjudged the move and his front-right tyre slammed into the rear-left of Magnussen who was knocked into a spin, whilst the 33-year-old Red Bull driver retired, before later briefly re-appearing in the race to serve an outstanding time penalty to prevent a grid-drop at the Qatar GP.

“I was struggling quite a lot on the braking with the with the front end,” Perez said to media after the race. “I tried to squeeze in, but then I just couldn’t stop in time and it was my mistake.”

Perez congratulates team for sixth Constructors’ Title

Red Bull now lead the Constructors’ Championship by 318 points from Mercedes, meaning that they have sealed their second successive title, and the sixth in their Formula 1 history.

The title was won as Max Verstappen led the team home by 19 seconds from Lando Norris behind as Perez watched from the side-lines following his retirement.

Despite the disappointment of retiring from the race, he was happy for the team as they expanded on their legacy in the sport.

“Definitely very happy with that,” Perez added. “I’m very proud for the whole team. I’m really happy with that and I’m really really proud, and it’s a very nice moment for the whole team together.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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