There was disaster for Sergio Perez before the Belgian Grand Prix even started, after he crashed his car on the way to the grid.
The Mexican was making his way around the Spa-Francorchamps track in the rain to take his place on the starting grid when he lost control on the wet surface and was unable to prevent his RB16B from skidding head first into the barriers at Les Combes.
He tried to reverse it out, but was unable to get moving and soon climbed out of the car. Moments later Red Bull’s Sporting Director Jonathan Wheatley was heard telling Race Director Michael Masi that Perez would not be able to start the race, saying: “right front suspension damage is too extreme for us to continue”.
Perez – who Red Bull confirmed would be staying with them for next season on Friday – was due to start seventh on the grid, but will now not start and will score zero points this weekend. His team mate Max Verstappen starts from pole position.
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Red Bull boss Christian Horner said: “Obviously very disappointing not to be able to take a start [with Perez] – just shows how tricky conditions are out there.
“For Max it doesn’t change anything for him and his approach but obviously, pretty nasty conditions out there. It’s one of those days where anything can happen.”