Sergio Perez described the Bahrain Grand Prix as a “very low day” for Red Bull after both he and team mate Max Verstappen retired from podium places in the closing laps.
Verstappen had been challenging for the win until the Safety Car restart where a problem with his Red Bull saw him passed by Carlos Sainz Jnr before pulling into retirement. Perez was then sitting in third before his car suddenly seized on the final lap under braking for the first corner, spinning him out of the race.
With Red Bull leaving the season-opening race with no points on the board, Perez said it had been a “difficult” start to the year.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Perez in response to a question from RaceFans. “It’s a very low day for our team.
“It’s a difficult start to the new year, but the positive is that we are quick – we just have to figure it out, make sure we are more reliable and understand from the issues. We’ve got some pace to find to get closer to the Ferrari.”
Perez explained that his retirement was likely caused by a fuel pump problem. “Basically just at the hairpin on the final lap, it locked completely, the rear,” he explained. “So it just died.”
Like team mate Verstappen, Perez had detected that all was not right with his RB18 long before his car suddenly failed, explaining he developed problems “a good five laps or so, when Lewis [Hamilton] was behind” before his retirement.
“I knew that it was going to be close to get it to the line, because the issue was coming progressively lap-by-lap,” Perez said.
“We thought we could have got it to the end, but unfortunately we didn’t. It’s a big disappointment because as a team we really wanted to start the season with the right foot. It was very important. It was not going to be an ideal result, but being on the podium was going to be good – still a good and solid start for the season.”
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