11 October 2013
Japanese Grand Prix: Perez to switch to spare chassis after FP2 shunt
Sergio Perez: My accident during FP3 was my error. I was setting the car up for the entry to Spoon, put my right-rear wheel onto the grass, and just lost the back end. The impact was quite hard, but fortunately I'm fine.
McLaren's Sergio Perez will use the space chassis for the remainder of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, it has been announced.
Perez crashed heavily early in second practice today at the Suzuka Circuit, losing it at Spoon and then going backwards into the wall at Turn 13. The Mexican escaped unharmed, but his MP4-21 sustained significant damage and he took no further part in FP2, finishing the day 16th overall.
“My accident during FP3 was my error. I was setting the car up for the entry to Spoon, put my right-rear wheel onto the grass, and just lost the back end,” said Perez, who only did 8 laps in the second session as a result.
“At the speed I was travelling, and with relatively little run-off, there wasn't much room to scrub off speed so I went straight into the wall," he added.
“The impact was quite hard, but fortunately I'm fine. The accident meant we didn't get the track time we needed for the high-fuel and Option tyre runs in our programme for the afternoon.
"But we'll be able to use some of the data generated by [my team-mate] Jenson [Button], and our aim for tomorrow has to be to get into Q3.”
“Checo's accident in FP2 was obviously a setback for the team, but the main thing for all of us is that he was able to walk away unhurt from what was quite a sizeable impact,” continued McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh. “Unfortunately, his chassis wasn't so fortunate, and it will be replaced with the spare by the mechanics overnight.”
Jenson Button meanwhile was eleventh in FP1 and ninth in FP2 and made 'good progress' throughout the day: “It's great to be out on the circuit here. Throughout the day, we saw a lot of drivers making mistakes, but that's the nature of this place – it's unforgiving. Obviously, we don't like to see accidents like Checo's, but you appreciate that you have to respect this place,” Button noted.
“It's been a relatively good Friday. We found a good balance on the Prime tyre, but still need to do some work with the Option, because we didn't gain too much going from the harder tyre to the softer one.
“Nevertheless, while both compounds are working reasonably well, I believe there's a cooler weather front coming in for tomorrow, so we need to be careful about the direction we take with the set-up to best cope with it,” concluded the 2009 F1 World Champion.
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