Perez out of Belgian GP after crash on lap to the grid

Sergio Perez will not start Sunday’s Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix after crashing en route to the grid in wet conditions at Spa.

Perez out of Belgian GP after crash on lap to the grid

Red Bull driver Perez had been due to start from seventh on the grid, but lost control of his car while going through Les Combes during his reconnaissance laps ahead of the race.

Perez crashed front-first into the barrier on the right-hand side of the circuit, leaving the car with significant damage to the front suspension.

Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley informed race director Michael Masi over team radio that the “right front suspension damage is too extreme for us to continue”.

Perez was told by his engineer on the radio: “That’s us done, so kill the engine.” Perez duly hopped out of the car, which was been lifted away by a trackside crane.

It comes as a blow to Red Bull as it looked to reclaim the lead of the constructors’ championship from Mercedes, having slipped to 12 points behind at the last race in Hungary.

Perez’s team-mate, Max Verstappen, will start the race from pole position, while Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will line up third and 13th respectively.

Heavy rain has fallen throughout the day at Spa, with a number of drivers reporting low grip and visibility during their laps to the grid.

Hamilton told his Mercedes team over the radio there was “no grip out here”, while Williams’ George Russell - who will line up P2 on the grid - said visibility was “very poor”.

“Even when I was about six seconds behind the car ahead, I couldn't see down the straight,” Russell added. Drivers completed all of their laps to the grid on the full wet tyres.

Rain on Saturday caused qualifying to be delayed by 10 minutes before ultimately being red flagged in Q3 following a crash for Lando Norris as conditions worsened.

Perez’s crash means that only 18 cars will start Sunday’s race from the grid, with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen starting from the pit lane after his team changed the specification of his rear wing. Perez’s P7 grid slot will be left empty.

The start of the race has been delayed due to heavy rain, with an eventual start set to take place behind the safety car.

Race control announced in the lead-up to the planned start of the race at 1500 local time at Spa that the formation laps would take place behind the safety car, which ultimately come out of the planned race distance.

But the decision was then taken to delay proceedings by an initial 10 minutes before pushing the start of the formation lap out to 1515 local time, and then again to 1520 under the current plan.

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Belgian GP Live commentary and updates - Race

Previous article

F1 Belgian GP Live commentary and updates - Race

Next article

Belgian GP under red flag following safety car start in heavy rain

Belgian GP under red flag following safety car start in heavy rain
Load comments
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021