Sergio Perez left dejected by brake failure on home ground
Sergio Perez described his exit from the Mexican Grand Prix as a “big disappointment” as his hopes of a points result on home turf were wrecked by a brake failure.
Perez started from a low-key 13th on the grid but ran a one-stop strategy, pitting during the Virtual Safety Car period caused by Carlos Sainz Jr.’s exit, to move into the points.
Perez overhauled Charles Leclerc – who went on to finish seventh – but his Force India VJM11 was struck by a brake failure, and he toured around into the pits to retire.
“It hurts a lot, it hurts a lot,” said Perez, whose every move was cheered by the Mexican spectators throughout the weekend.
“I think we had at least seventh place in our pocket and the great strategy that we started planning [in qualifying] was really paying off.
“Sometimes in racing you have these big disappointments when there is an issue with the car.
“It was the brakes that forced me to retire because suddenly the pedal went long and we had to park the car.
“Until then it had been a really exciting race for me – I had a great first lap, getting ahead of Fernando [Alonso], and then some good battles with the Saubers later in the race.
“I was controlling my race, looking after the tyres, and I thought we would pick up some good points. I feel sorry for the team and for the fans who have been incredible this week.
“They always make me feel very proud and they gave me amazing support.”
Perez’s exit leaves Force India needing to out-score McLaren by 15 points across the last two Grands Prix if it is to wrestle control of sixth in the Constructors’ Championship.