Sergio Perez has revealed that he could do nothing to stop his Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix incident which will see him start the 2023 race in last position.
The Mexican, who is F1’s most recent race winner after triumphing in Saudi Arabia, was suffering from technical issues in FP3 but Red Bull were unable to fix them for qualifying and he ended the session in the gravel at Turn 3.
His teammate, Max Verstappen, went on to secure pole position by a quarter of a second over George Russell in the Mercedes but Perez revealed after the session that he was helpless to avoid his incident.
“We’ve had a bit of a technical issue all the way from FP3,” Perez told the media after qualifying. “We thought we had fixed that.
“But we obviously didn’t and it was really difficult to do anything when braking. I became a passenger as soon as I touched the brake.”
The gap is closing
The quarter of a second between Verstappen and Russell at the front of the field represents a narrowing gap from the reigning champions to the rest of the field.
Some of that time will be down to a shorter lap around Albert Park but Aston Martin and Ferrari seemed to get closer until Verstappen put in a storming lap with his final attempt of the session.
Perez was keen to remind people that there is not a huge gap from themselves to the rest of the field despite two very comfortable one-two finishes to start the 2023 campaign.
“The margin in qualifying shows how close everyone is,” Perez continued. “If we are not able to put it together every single Saturday and Sunday then the competition is very strong.”