Sergio Perez sent airborne in Mexico GP crash heartbreak for Red Bull F1 home hero

Sergio Perez had a fantastic start and was in the lead at the first turn, but he misjudged the turn and collided with a Ferrari, sending him skydiving.

At the Mexican Grand Prix, Sergio Perez crashed at the first corner, evoking a chorus of heartbroken groans from the crowd.

Starting from fifth on the grid, the Guadalajara man had a fantastic launch and was fighting for the lead at the first corner. Alongside pole-sitter Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari and teammate Max Verstappen, he entered turn three abreast.

However, he misjudged the turn as he attempted to go around the outside of the Monegasque. After making contact with the other vehicle, his Red Bull shot it into the air and crashed hard back onto the tarmac.

He was able to keep the engine running and limped back to the pits. His Red Bull mechanics assessed the damage but it soon became clear that there was too much to carry on.

A huge hole had been ripped in the sidepod of Perez’s car which would have ruined its aerodynamic performance. And there would no doubt have been some damage done to the floor considering the force of the impact as the car hit the ground.

For a moment, it looked as though Red Bull were going to try to send him back out even though Perez was two laps down. He was back in the car with his helmet on in the garage, but they aborted that plan, clearly thinking there was little point.

It was Verstappen who survived the melee to come out of the first corner with the lead. The Dutchman had started the race third on the grid after being upstages by Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in qualifying.

But he got a superb launch off the line and was soon past the Spaniard. And he had the inside line of the three cars heading into the first corner, so when Leclerc and Perez made contact he was able to slip through unscathed and run in free air.

Verstappen quickly broke through the DRS barrier, cruising two and a half seconds ahead of the Ferrari pursuing him. Undoubtedly, Leclerc’s life was becoming more difficult because of the damage to his front wing sustained in the first-corner collision.

During the first ten laps, Daniel Ricciardo held off Lewis Hamilton, with Sainz following closely behind. But eventually, the Mercedes, which was displaying strong race speed, managed to overcome the Australian.

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