Sergio Perez saw his fifteen race run of points finishes end at the Monaco Grand Prix, with the Mexican finishing thirteenth after being forced to make three pit stops, two of them for repairs after contact with Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers.
The Sahara Force India F1 Team racer broke his front wing against Carlos Sainz Jr’s STR12 on the opening, and although he persevered with it initially, he was forced to pit early for his pit stop on lap sixteen, which left him in traffic and compromised until the introduction of the safety car.
“It’s disappointing to come away from here with no points,” said Perez. “Our race was compromised on the first lap, when I made contact with Sainz and damaged my front wing.
“We had to stop early and ended up in traffic, and it was always going to be difficult to recover to the points. We had a lot of pace in the car, but overtaking is always a challenge, even when you are much faster than the cars in front.”
After pitting for fresh rubber during the safety car period, Perez made a move on Stoffel Vandoorne to return to the points heading into St Devote, but an optimistic move on Daniil Kvyat at La Rascasse a few laps later ended in contact, with the Mexican being forced to pit again with more damage.
“After the Safety Car, with the field bunched up, I was on fresh tyres and all the cars ahead were struggling,” said Perez. “I had a big opportunity to make up a few positions, but in Monaco there is no way to overtake without taking risks.
“I wasn’t any more aggressive than when I passed [Jolyon] Palmer, Vandoorne or [Lance] Stroll earlier in the race, but with Daniil [Kvyat] he didn’t give me enough space and we touched. It wasn’t a big hit but it was enough to ruin both our races.
“Even though I missed out on points, I am proud of my race because I gave everything I could. I feel really sorry for my team because we deserved more from this weekend and our string of good results is over, but we can take a lot of positives from today and build on them for the rest of the season.”