Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Sergio Perez relieved after Hungarian Grand Prix crash terror

From Philip Duncan in Budapest

Published 24/07/2015

The car of Force India driver Sergio Perez of Mexico is removed by a crane after crashing, during the free practice at the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix in Budapest, Hungary, Friday, July 24, 2015. The Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday July, 26. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
The car of Force India driver Sergio Perez of Mexico is removed by a crane after crashing, during the free practice at the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix in Budapest, Hungary, Friday, July 24, 2015. The Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday July, 26. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Rescue workers unload the car of Sahara Force India F1 Team's Mexican driver Sergio Perez after his crash during the first practice session of the Hungarian Grand Prix Formula One race on July 24, 2015 at the Hungaroring racetrack in Mogyorod. AFP/Getty Images
Force India driver Sergio Perez of Mexico, green helmet, stands next to his overturned car during the first practice session for the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix on the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod, 23 kms north-east of Budapest, Hungary, Friday, July 24, 2015. The 2015 Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary will take place on July 26. (Zsolt Czegledi/MTI via AP)

Sergio Perez has revealed he was "scared" following his dramatic crash during practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Perez was left a passenger in his Force India after he suffered a right-rear suspension failure on the exit of turn 11.

He slid helplessly across the track before crashing into the barriers and then being launched into the air.

His Force India landed on its roof, but Perez was able to clamber out of the cockpit and was swiftly given the all-clear by the FIA medical team.

The Mexican's crash was a stark reminder of the inherent dangers involved in Formula One, and came only days after Jules Bianchi was laid to rest after he tragically succumbed to the brain injuries he sustained at the Japanese Grand Prix.

"The impact was not that bad but then I rolled over and I got a bit scared," Perez said.

"It was quite a dramatic accident. Getting out of the car was quite a challenge in that position, but thank God nothing happened and I'm here for tomorrow.

"We should definitely analyse my accident and see if there's something we can improve."

Force India withdrew both of their cars from Friday's second practice session as they tried to uncover the reasons behind Perez's harrowing incident.

The British-based team however, remain confident they will return to the track for qualifying on Saturday.

"It's been a challenging day as we try to understand the right rear suspension failure on Sergio's car," said Force India chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer.

"We opted to withdraw from the afternoon session as a precaution until we had a clear understanding of the problem.

"Those investigations remain ongoing and will continue this evening to ensure we can resume running on Saturday.

Sergio Perez of Mexico and Force India looks on in the paddock during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 24, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Sergio Perez of Mexico and Force India looks on in the paddock during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 24, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

"Losing the afternoon puts us on the back foot, but I'm optimistic we can recover some of the lost ground tomorrow to be ready for qualifying."

In the searing Budapest heat it was Lewis Hamilton, a winner last time out at the British Grand Prix, who maintained his sizzling form.

The 30-year-old topped the timesheets in both sessions and he ended the day a mammoth - by Formula One standards - seven tenths of a second faster than his Mercedes team-mate.

"It was really good fun out there today and I'm starting to think this might be my favourite track," said Hamilton, who is bidding for a record fifth win in Hungary on Sunday.

"It's so fun to drive with the combination of corners and undulations. The way it all flows together just feels old school."

A heatwave is rippling through central Europe which saw temperatures in Budapest reach 35 degrees C on Friday.

Hamilton, who holds a 17-point lead over Rosberg in the championship, added: "It's incredibly hot, - like driving in a sauna. You're drenched in sweat before you even get in the car with all the thermals on and I lost about half a kilo just in that session.

"It's a big challenge to get a good lap here in these conditions and I think everyone has struggled a bit.

"It's meant to be a bit cooler on Sunday which will be easier to cope with physically but will obviously change the balance a bit, so it should be interesting. Our car feels strong here though and I'm very happy with it so far."

On an encouraging day for Red Bull, Daniil Kvyat was second fastest, 0.351secs slower than Hamilton with Daniel Ricciardo a further tenth back.

Their strong display was dampened however when Ricciardo suffered a Renault engine failure. With plumes of smoke billowing from the back of his Red Bull, the Australian was forced to pull off the track at turn 11.

With Red Bull showing signs of a resurgence there was encouragement for McLaren too, as Fernando Alonso followed up a reasonable showing in the opening session to end the afternoon in eighth, 1.8secs down on Hamilton's fastest lap. Jenson Button was 12th, two tenths adrift of his Spanish team-mate.

Friday's action was the first since Bianchi's tragic passing, and all of the drivers, most of whom attended his funeral on Tuesday, sported stickers reading 'Ciao Jules' or 'JB17' on their crash helmets.

It was announced earlier this week that his race number 17 would be permanently retired from Formula One, while a one-minute silence will be held ahead of Sunday's race.

Online Editors

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph