Red Bull hailed Sergio Perez’s “presence of mind” to successfully restart his RB16B when it shut down on the formation lap of Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Perez was due to start from 11th position but his RB16B suffered an electrical shut down as he entered the final sector on the formation lap and he stopped on the run to the final corner.
Perez was able to restart the car and took the delayed start from the end of the pit lane, from where he rose to finish in fifth position.
It came after Honda changed Perez’s Control Electronics and Energy Store pre-race as a precaution.
“On the laps to the grid there were no signs of any errors, the car behaved itself perfectly,” said Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan.
“On the formation lap we started to have some difficulties. There’s a cut out on the car that protects it and it’s quite entertaining, the sequence of events.
“The thing has lost all electrical power, Checo has the presence of mind, like when your laptop has gone wrong you switch it off and back on again.
“The steering wheel bursts back into life, starts the engine, [he] gets back around to the end of the pitlane and waits for everyone else to form up and starts from the pitlane.
“As is often the case with these kinds of intermittent faults, the car then runs faultlessly of course.
“He was brilliant, he recovered, he didn’t get frustrated. He hasn’t lost his motivation, he’s got on with it and moved up the field and done a very decent race and he’s scored us a load of points from being on the side of the road on the formation lap and no power in the car.
“Thank goodness for him having the presence of mind. He had no radio comms, we didn’t tell him to do the ignition reset, he did it for us.”
Perez expressed relief at merely being able to make the start in the wake of the problem.
“I don’t know what happened, everything went off, I lost engine, lost ignition, I thought that was it,” he said.
“Then I heard Jonathan [Wheatley] on the radio and was like ‘what’, this thing woke up, I turned on the engine and I had to start from the pit lane.
“There’s a lot of work ahead to be in contention where we want to be but the positive is the pace was good so we’re getting there.”