Mexican Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez has never won his home grand prix, but he had a shot at taking the lead on the opening lap of today's race heading into turn 1. He instead found himself flying through the air after a collision with Charles Leclerc's Ferrari.
Perez started fifth on the grid, but the two Ferraris on the front row struggled to get up to speed before turn 1 and he easily passed up to third on the straightaway. That put him in position to make a move on the outside of the pole-sitting Leclerc into turn 1, but teammate Max Verstappen had also made a quick jump off the line and begun his own move on the inside. With no room for three drivers to make the corner, the Ferrari's front tire collided with the Red Bull's rear. That briefly sent Perez through the air, leading him to land hard on the car's nose.
The Red Bull driver tried to continue after the crash, but his team made the decision to retire the car once he made it back to the pit lane. That means the crash ends what has been a particularly bad race weekend for Perez, who was outqualified yesterday by Daniel Ricciardo in the AlphaTauri he has been racing as an audition to replace Perez in his old spot at Red Bull Racing in the future.
After a brief virtual safety car to clean up debris that broke off Leclerc's Ferrari after the crash, Max Verstappen leads the Mexican Grand Prix early. Leclerc still runs in second with a damaged front wing, while Sainz runs in third. After 15 laps, Perez is the day's first and only retirement.
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