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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: The car of Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing is recovered from the track after crashing during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

Horner: Monaco was pretty brutal for Perez

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: The car of Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing is recovered from the track after crashing during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Horner: Monaco was pretty brutal for Perez. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

Sergio Perez’s 2024 Monaco Grand Prix lasted less than five hundred metres, colliding with fellow veteran Kevin Magnussen the pair were lucky to be unscathed on a “brutal” weekend for the Mexican driver according to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

Perez’s woes started Friday in practice when both he and teammate Max Verstappen struggled to find the right zone in Monaco, all weekend it should be said. At the end of FP1, Max was P11 and Checo P12. That became P4 and P8 respectively in FP2.

On Saturday morning they were better in P2 and P5 with the Red Bull looking better but that deceived as Verstappen was only good for P6 and Perez a jaw-dropping P18, half a second down on the sister car, on a 71-seconds lap!

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Of course, it got worse as Perez – a Monaco GP winner – started P18 with Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg behind him on the grid. Both Haas cars were disqualified from Qualy for a DRS infringement. As the trio roared up the hill at the tail of the pack, snaking up to the Casino, Magnussen started to squeeze his Haas between Perez’s Red Bull and the inside barrier, while the RBR driver kept it closed.

All hell broke loose as the pair tagged, triggering a horrific collision that, for a split second seemed disastrous. Thankfully today’s F1 cars are sturdy beasts and that the trio walked away unscathed is down to a miracle and unwavering modern safety.

Horner: Thankfully Checo stepped away from it unhurt

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing looks on after crashing at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Perez’s RB20 was destroyed as the main photo above this post shows, prompting Red Bull team boss to comment on his driver’s performance in Monte-Carlo: “Very disappointed by the crash on lap one, and I think Magnussen should have given more space. Not only did he damage his car, he also took out our car.

“Thankfully Checo stepped away from it unhurt, which is the most important thing. This weekend’s been pretty brutal for him. Obviously we need to make sure that we’ve got both cars up there scoring points because we cannot dismiss the threat of Ferrari and McLaren in both championships.”

“Checo’s first six races he was very strong,” ventured Horner. “He was qualifying on the front row and finishing second and third, and scoring very well. We just need to get him back into that position of confidence and not see a dip,” insisted Horner, who congratulated Ferrari’s local hero Charles Leclerc for winning his home race.

In the team report the Red Bull team boss reflected further: “I would say it was a difficult weekend and Monaco is always dictated by qualifying performance, so we faced many challenges going into this race. Our car never performed at its best here and we need to understand the issues we had on the bumps and kerbs.

“We have a lot of data to analyse from this weekend and we’ll be looking at everything hard over the next couple of weeks before Canada,” added Horner.

While Red Bull and Verstappen still lead the 2024 F1 Constructors Championship standings, Ferrari and Leclerc closed the gap, and with Perez failing on the day it’s game on! (Quotes by Agnes Carlier in Monaco)