Sergio Perez admitted he is extremely disappointed in himself after crashing out of the first part of qualifying for the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.
The Mexican, who won the race in Monte Carlo last year, was among the favourites for pole, but will line up 20th and last after crashing into the Turn 1 barrier and bringing out the red flag after less than seven minutes of a thrilling qualifying session
“An unbelievable day, I just cannot believe what I’ve what done,” Perez told select members of the media, including Total-Motorsport.com.
“It just caught me by surprise, you know, just getting that out of shape, especially really late into the corner. That really caught me out.
“It’s a way of how we were trying to get the lap time out of it but I just went over the limit.
“I became a passenger, there was nothing else I could do because it was really late in the corner and I could not cut the corner or get out of the corner.
“It came around as a big surprise. Saying that is not an excuse. I should have done better today.
“All I can say it’s very sorry to my team, because you know, you put so much energy, so much work, preparing everything and then you just disappoint everyone like this.”
‘It’s going to be an impossible race’
It looked like the Mexican might have been a little distracted by a slow moving car as he approached Turn 1 but he was in no mood to absolve himself of blame.
It’s notoriously difficult to overtake around the streets of the Principality, and even in the RB19, the standout car of 2023, Perez is anticipating an “impossible race.”
And to make matters worse, Max Verstappen took a stunning pole, meaning he is likely to lose serious ground in the title fight.
“No, not really,” he added, when asked if he was put off. “I was just caught out with the fact that I ended up losing the rear so late into the corner.
“I knew that today we could have had a shot at pole but I didn’t drive to my level so that’s why I’m here.
“It’s gonna be a nightmare tomorrow. I do expect a very difficult race. Whatever you do, people just cover you. You’ll end up in the same position.
“It’s unfair to my team so I’m super disappointed today with myself. And I know that tomorrow it’s gonna be an impossible race.”