Perez crashes out before Belgian GP start

Charles Coates/Motorsport Images

Perez crashes out before Belgian GP start

Formula 1

Perez crashes out before Belgian GP start

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Sergio Perez crashed on the reconnaissance laps to the grid to rule himself out of the Belgian Grand Prix.

In extremely wet conditions after persistent rain at Spa-Francorchamps, drivers were trying to explore the grip levels on the drenched surface as they made their way to the grid. The amount of standing water was clear from the spray along the Kemmel Straight, but when Perez arrived at Les Combes he got slightly wide through the first part of the chicane, took too much curb in the second part and then had a snap of oversteer that pitched him wide towards the barrier.

Once on the wet grass there was no hope of Perez regaining control and he slid into the tire wall, damaging the front right corner of his car. Red Bull radioed to Perez to tell him to switch off the car because his day was over, then telling the FIA the “front suspension damage is too much for us to continue.”

Perez — who only signed a new one-year contract with Red Bull on Friday — had been due to start from seventh on the grid but that slot will now be left empty rather than all of the drivers moving up.

In further grid changes pre-race, Lando Norris received a five-place grid penalty for fitting a new gearbox after his heavy crash in qualifying on Saturday — demoting him to 15th — while Alfa Romeo opted to change Kimi Raikkonen’s rear wing assembly, meaning he will start from the pit lane.

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