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How did Sergio Perez save his Bahrain Grand Prix?

Sergio Perez had an eventful debut with Red Bull. Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images.
Sergio Perez had an eventful debut with Red Bull. Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images.
Modified 29 Mar 2021

Sergio Perez' Bahrain Grand Prix weekend was a tale of two halves. The Mexican got knocked out in Q2 after having a lap deleted for breaching track limits. The Mexican was slated to start from P11, but his car stalled during the formation lap before the race.

The Mexican was miraculously able to bring power back to the car by removing and putting back the steering wheel. However, the Mexican was left to start from the pit-lane in last place.

Speaking about what happened, Sergio Perez said:

"No idea, in the middle of the corner everything just shut down. I was about to jump out of the car and all of a sudden I started to listen to [Red Bull sporting director] Jonathan [Wheatley]. I just turned on the car and kept going. It was about getting the ignition back. I couldn’t hear anything, I couldn’t hear the engineers. Then it went back, so that was good.”

Also read: Formula 1 2021: Bahrain Grand Prix driver ratings

It was all Sergio Perez's presence of mind: Paul Monaghan

Speaking about the incident, RBR chief engineer Paul Monaghan said:

"Before the race, there was a small electrical fault. We dealt with that. On the laps to the grid, no sign of any errors, the car behaved itself perfectly. On the formation lap, he started to have some difficulties. There’s been a cut-out on the car which protects it."
"The thing’s lost all its electrical power, Sergio Perez has the presence of mind, like your laptop’s gone wrong, switch it off and switch it on again."

Speaking about the Mexican's race, Monaghan said:

"Sergio Perez did brilliantly, he recovered, he didn’t get frustrated, he hasn’t lost his motivation, he’s got on with it, he’s moved up through the field. He scored us a load of points."

Sergio Perez is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid, and it was his presence of mind which allowed Red Bull to score points with its second car at the Bahrain Grand Prix. A lesser driver would not have known what to do, which would have led to retirement from the race. Teams are not allowed to prompt drivers during formation laps, which makes Perez's troubleshooting even more impressive.

"Thank goodness for his presence of mind. You’ve got no radio comms, we can’t tell him to do the ignition reset and he did it for us."

The Red Bull garages had contrasting fortunes throughout the Bahrain Grand Prix. However, their driver lineup is arguably the best on the grid, and with a competitive car at the start of the season, Red Bull will look to bounce back at the next race in Imola.

Also read: What did Lewis Hamilton say after winning the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix?

Published 29 Mar 2021, 17:04 IST
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