Perez delighted with fifth after his race almost ended before the start

The Mexican's car stopped out on track on the formation lap but he recovered to claim fifth spot

Monday, 29th March 2021, 11:46 am
Updated Monday, 29th March 2021, 11:50 am
Sergio Perez had to pass most of the field to get back into contention

Sergio Perez's Red Bull Racing debut almost didn't happen when his car broke down on the formation lap.

The Mexican's RB16B suddenly cut-out as the cars formed up on the grid, leaving him stranded by the side of the track before the final corner. Rather than hopping out though, he got the car restarted and was made to start from the pitlane rather than 11th place where he qualified.

Coming through the field, just as he did at the same venue where he won at last season, Perez passed car after car as he recovered to take a brilliant fifth place come the chequered flag, six seconds behind Lando Norris in fourth.

“Considering my race almost didn’t happen today, I think overall we can be pleased," he said. "The pace was really good and the potential is there.

"On the formation lap, all of a sudden the car shut down and I was so close to jumping out but I stayed in and somehow the car got going again which was a miracle really. That meant we had to start from the pit lane which wasn’t ideal but we managed to recover and I was just happy to complete the race and get that important mileage under my belt.

"It was really important to get that and of course it is a shame that Max didn’t win the race for the team but it will come I’m sure and we will get there.

"We’ve got a lot of data to analyse now so that we understand everything and make sure we come back stronger at the next race in Imola.”