Perez escapes serious injury in Monaco
Sergio Perez has avoided serious injury after losing his car in a frightening crash late in Q3 last night.
The Mexican, in his first year competing in Formula One, lost control of his Sauber on the bumps between the tunnel and chicane, pitching his car into the right-hand side rail before sliding through the chicane. His car made heavy impact with the barrier dividing the circuit and service road, where he sat motionless in the cockpit.
Circuit marshals and the medical team rushed to his aid, extricating him from his car into an ambulance in a little over ten minutes. The appreciative crowd applauded the medical car as it made its way back to the pits.
Shortly after, reports began to filter out that Perez was conscious and talking, though he had some pain in one of his legs. Doctors will keep in in hospital overnight for observation.
In a press statement, Sauber said that ‘it was with great relief the Sauber F1 Team received the news that Sergio Pérez has no serious injuries after his heavy accident in the closing minutes of the final part of qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.’
‘The 21-year-old Mexican was taken to the Hospital Princess Grace in Monaco from where the team received further information at 16:25 hrs: The doctors said Pérez had suffered concussion and a sprained thigh, but no broken bones and, following a scan, they could find no further injuries.’
The team confirmed that he would not be taking place in the Monaco Grand Prix later today.
The accident itself was similar to that had by Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg during FP3 earlier in the day, although his car luckily slid to the right of the barrier and onto the track.
Similarities have also been drawn to crashes experience by Jenson Button in 2005, as well as Karl Wendlinger in 1994.
Team Principal Peter Sauber said ‘of course we are very relieved that Sergio wasn’t seriously injured. Up to the accident he was doing very well in qualifying, and also better than expected as he had outperformed all his direct competitors’.
Technical director James Key agreed. ‘First and foremost we are obviously relieved with the reports that Sergio is okay.
‘It’s always very worrying for a team when you see an accident of that magnitude, so it’s good to hear that he is fundamentally okay.’
The Swiss team will investigate the cause of the accident, though at this early stage have failed to find a problem with the car that may have contributed to the collission.
‘We are looking into what happened, continued Key. ‘There is no indication at the moment from the data we have seen that there was a problem with the car. But we have to talk to Sergio to investigate further what happened.’
The FIA decided to ban the use of the DRS through the tunnel in the week leading up to the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.
A number of drivers have called for safety on that particular part of the track to be scrutinised, with Jenson Button being amongst the first to speak out.
‘It is a tricky corner… but I think we need to look further on what we can do with the run-off there.’
Fernando Alonso suggested that the hill coming out of the tunnel may need to be resurfaced, pointing the a combination of the bumps on the track and current aerodynamic developments creating a particular danger to drivers.
‘It is a combination of many things – the poor grip that we have with the new rules and this year, the aerodynamics of the car that are for sure going for an extreme way of developing the car with the blown diffuser and exhausts. That is the way it is unfortunately,’ said the Spaniard.
‘For tomorrow there is not much we can do. But for next year we can see if there is a need to re-asphalt that area.’