Perez blames “dirty air” for F1 sprint race spin

Sergio Perez says getting “caught out in the dirty air” triggered his spin during the inaugural Formula 1 sprint qualifying race at the British Grand Prix on Saturday.

Perez blames “dirty air” for F1 sprint race spin

The Red Bull driver ended up the biggest loser in the sprint race and will start tomorrow’s main event at Silverstone from last place on the grid after retiring late on due to safety concerns after a spin.

Perez had been battling Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris when he lost control of his RB16B F1 car at Chapel, going through a full 360-degree spin at high speed and sliding over the grass and gravel trap.

The Mexican driver was able to avoid the wall and continue in the sprint race but on the penultimate lap his Red Bull team opted to retire him as a safety precaution – condemning him to a last place start for Sunday’s full distance race.

Perez has blamed running in the dirty air behind Alonso and Norris for his spin and felt he was “a passenger” as soon as he lost control of his car.

“Coming out of the corner I was already picking up quite a lot of throttle. I think I got caught out in the dirty air and that made things hard,” Perez said.

“I became a passenger, basically, really early in the corner. A poor day from my side.

“Probably here is a place where we have been struggling the most.

"I struggled a lot with the dirty air and I don’t know if it is related to lighter fuel loads starting or something like that, but I did struggle in the dirty air at the start of the race.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Perez was able to continue in the sprint race for a handful of laps before pitting, but felt there wasn’t enough to gain by finishing the race due to heavy vibrations having flat spotted his tyres in the off.

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“It was set. We basically had too much vibrations from the tyres from the spin and that was pretty much it,” he said.

Red Bull will be seek permission from the FIA if it needs to make any changes to Perez’s car ahead of the race due to parc ferme conditions being in place.”

“For Checo, because we have to do some safety checks on that car, we are going to have to get permission in order to do that,” Horner confirmed to Sky Sports F1.

“There was no major issue but it put a huge flat spot on the tyres, thankfully he didn’t hit anything but the level of vibration was so high, that was why we retired the car so it enables us to check the car all over before tomorrow.”

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