Sergio Perez struggled to make it to the finish of the Miami Grand Prix race due to a sensor malfunction, indicating that Red Bull Racing is still having reliability issues.
Sergio Perez was unlucky not to finish on the podium at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, but he was fortunate to even finish after yet another reliability issue.
While the RB18’s speed is undeniable, its dependability is up for debate. Red Bull has already had reliability issues this season, and it appeared mid-race that their problems would continue.
At the Miami International Autodrome, Perez was in a tight battle with Carlos Sainz Jr for third place. However, the Mexican went on the radio to report that he was losing power.
Over the radio, the Mexican’s distress was clear, with team principal Christian Horner detailing how close he came to retiring.
“It was very close, we had to move the sensors around to address the issue,” the Red Bull boss said. “So that’s something we will work closely with HRC [Honda] on to try and understand and obviously make sure it doesn’t happen in the future.”
When the problem developed, Perez quickly fell behind Sainz, with Horner claiming that the Red Bull driver was “down approximately 20 kilowatts in power” once the issue was resolved.
“He had an issue with a sensor on one of the cylinders,” added Horner. “The guys managed to move the sensors around, but he was down probably 20 kilowatts in power as a result.”
“Even with the advantage of the new tyre he had, he was probably half a second off what the car was capable of in straight line speed… and I think without that he would have probably even been P2.”
Red Bull has already lost valuable points this season due to reliability concerns, with reigning world champion Max Verstappen retiring from two of the first five races due to reliability issues.
Verstappen, on the other hand, has won every race he’s entered so far this season. The Dutchman , though, is currently second in the championship standings, nineteen points behind Charles Leclerc, as a result of his two retirements.
Perez has yet to win a race this season, however he has finished second twice this season, in Australia and Imola. The Mexican’s only retirement occurred in the season opener, with Miami nearly becoming his second DNF of the year.
Despite the obvious reliability challenges, Horner insists that the RB18 is not “fragile” and that the problems will be resolved.
“I don’t think the car is particularly fragile,” Horner said. “I think there’s just been niggly things that you would have normally seen in pre-season testing but have only reared their head as we’ve got into the season.”
“That’s been frustrating, but we’re working closely with HRC and they’re giving us great support.”
“So I think we’ll get those ironed out.”