Sergio Perez had to pull out from the Mexican Grand Prix after colliding with Charles Leclerc through the first turn of the Mexican Grand Prix race on Sunday.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc had secured the first row with teammate Carlos Sainz, putting world champion Max Verstappen in third place and Perez in fifth.
At the end of Formula 1’s longest opening straight, the Red Bull’s tremendous power pulled both Verstappen’s and Perez’s cars past Sainz off the line and caught up with Leclerc as they entered Turn 1 three cars wide.
Leclerc was caught in the center and couldn’t avoid coming into contact with Perez on his left flank, so Verstappen was the clear favorite to take the lead as he took the inside line.
Leclerc was left sprinting across the grass with damage to his front wing as the Mexican’s car rocketed into the air as he slid wide.
Although Perez hobbled back to the pits with an enormous hole in his sidepod, it was evident that he was down and out even after Red Bull technicians battled to bring him back out, if only for a parade run out in front of his thrilled fans at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Leclerc, with his front wing end-plate hanging off, maintained his second-place spot. A few laps later, it was taken away without a black-and-white flag requiring him to pit for its removal.
However, the retrieval of the damaged wing prompted a brief virtual safety car, and the stewards announced that they would look into the details of the incident after the race.