Sergio Pérez admitted to feeling bad following the first lap collision with team-mate Esteban Ocon during the Singapore Grand Prix, with the banging of wheels pushing the Frenchman into the wall at turn three, although the Mexican had no idea it was his team-mate until he was told over the radio.
Both Racing Point Force India F1 Team driver started inside the top ten at the Marina Bay Street Circuit and were looking for a third consecutive two-car points haul as they bid to get as high up in the championship standings as possible, but the collision as well as other issues later in the evening put paid to that dream.
“I feel very sad about the lost opportunity,” said Pérez. “On lap one I was coming out of turn three, picking up the power and all of a sudden I felt a hit.
“I didn’t know who it was and then the team told me it was Esteban. I feel so bad for the team because we really need to be scoring points at every race and it should have been a great day for us. After that the race became quite tricky and I soon realised it was going to be difficult to score points.”
Pérez’s troubles continued when he found himself behind Sergey Sirotkin, who had made a pit stop on the opening lap behind the safety car, and for a number of laps he was left frustrated as he could not find a way passed the Williams Martini Racing driver.
When Pérez did manage to get an opening and get alongside, a misjudgement of where he was in comparison to his rival saw the Mexican hit the side of the Russian, causing him to suffer a puncture and earning him a time penalty.
“I think we underestimated how difficult it would be to overtake the Williams and Sirotkin was defending very hard and moving around under braking,” said the Mexican. “When I finally got alongside him, I tried to close the door a bit too early and we made contact.
“It’s a weekend to forget and I am really sorry for what happened and the points we have lost today.”