A year after a qualifying crash cost Sergio Perez the chance to make his Monaco F1 debut, the Mexican found himself in the barriers again today, and will now start from last place on the grid at the Principality.

The accident came early in Q1 on the exit of turn 14, a fast left in the chicane in the run up to the Swimming Pool, and conjured up memories of his first F1 visit to Monte Carlo twelve months ago. This time the young Sauber driver was thankfully unhurt, and will be able to race, however, he must start from the back of the grid at arguably the toughest circuit to overtake in F1.

"I am disappointed as I felt we could fight for a very good grid position here. We are still analysing everything to see if there was something wrong with the car," he stated afterwards, and there certainly seemed to be something amiss as he attempted to steer right after turn 14.

"I was on my first lap, so was not pushing a lot. I went into the tunnel and had a lot of understeer and then I went into turns 13 and 14. 13 was quite fine but in 14 I just went straight and didn't get the car to turn."

Perez's team-mate, Kamui Koayashi, meanwhile had his own brush with the armco, although he was able to continue without too much bother after glancing the barriers on the way up to Ste Devote. Kobayashi was a surprise second in Q1, however he wasn't able to match up to this high standard in Q2 and dropped out. He will start tomorrow's race from eleventh.

"Of course I had hoped for a better result today. With the super soft tyre compound you only have one lap to set a good time. I managed to improve in Q2, but unfortunately not enough to be able to start in Q3," he said.

"The car was good however, and it will be good in the race, so I think we can improve tomorrow. A lot will also depend on our race strategy and some luck in terms of safety car periods, which can always happen here. I'm positive we can score good points tomorrow," he added.

by Philip Barclay


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