Sergio Perez says he was trying not to lift exiting Parabolica when he understeered into the gravel and crashed towards the end of FP2 at the Italian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver slid sideways through the gravel after running wide, bouncing across the run-off before rolling backwards into the barrier and damaging his rear wing. Perez then tried to rejoin the circuit but got stuck in the gravel. Afterward, he downplayed the severity of the incident despite bringing out the red flag.
“I understeered off at the exit and tried to keep it nailed,” Perez said. “I thought I had it under control but then I touched a little bit of the gravel and that was it — game over.
“It doesn’t look too bad, the damage; it was fairly small, and I don’t think we lost anything there at the end — two laps, so nothing representative in that regard. The positive is that the car is performing well, I’m feeling comfortable with it and I feel that we’re in a good position for the rest of the weekend. I really felt that we had a very strong Friday.”
Despite the way it ended for him, Perez says Friday’s running has still set him up well for the rest of the weekend.
“Definitely it does. We’ve been working really hard, I think we’ve found some positive steps in the car so hopefully we can show it tomorrow and Sunday.”
Perez ended up third fastest in FP2 while teammate Max Verstappen was fifth after complaining of traffic on his qualifying simulation. The championship leader feels he needs to make improvements to his setup overnight.
“We’ve been trying a few different wing levels and I think we still need to analyze a bit what way to go,” Verstappen said. “It’s sometimes a bit of a tricky thing around Monza. From my side, it probably could have been a little bit better, so still fine-tuning a bit the low-speed to the high-speed, but I’m quite confident that we’ll get there.
“Also I was a bit interrupted in FP2 to get a proper read on a few things, (so) still a bit of work to do.
“I think the running in general was OK, but on the short run I was blocked a bit in sector two, then in the long run we didn’t really get to do a lot of laps, so you don’t really get a good idea on it. At the end of the day, in the long run, that’s the same for everyone.
“We’ll have to wait and see until everyone ramps up their engines as well. I think from our side of course we can do a better job but it’s not been the end of the world.”