Perez is set to start the race in Monte Carlo from 20th on the grid after a shunt at Sainte Devote put him out of qualifying.

It’s the second high-profile mistake Perez has made in F1 2023 having crashed in Q1 in Australia.

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“It’s an unbelievable day,” Perez said after qualifying. “I cannot believe what I’ve done.

“It just caught me by surprise. Just getting the rear out of shape - especially really late into the corner, that really caught me out.

“It’s the way we were trying to get the lap time out of it, but it just went over the limit and I became a passenger. There was nothing else I could do, because it was really late in the corner and I could not cut the corner or go out of the corner.”

“It came around as a big surprise,” he added. “But saying that is not an excuse - I should have done better today.”

With overtaking so difficult in the principality, Perez described his prospects for the grand prix as an “impossible race”.

“All I can say is very sorry to my team because you put so much energy, so much work, preparing everything and then you just disappoint everyone like this – it’s not fair to my team. 

“So I’m super-disappointed today with myself and I know that tomorrow it’s going to be an impossible race.”

Team boss Christian Horner revealed that Perez might be forced into a change of chassis “as a precaution” meaning he could be starting from the pit lane on Sunday.

"Unfortunately, [Perez made] a mistake too early in Q1,” Horner said.

"I can only think that maybe he was distracted by the Alpine on the right-hand side because he just misjudged that first turn and the circuit was only going to get faster and faster, so he will be kicking himself for that."

"We might have to change the whole lot, the chassis, just as a precaution.It is so hard. Max started from that position a few years ago and only just made it into the top 10.

"Scoring points will be the target because it is likely to be a one-stop race, you are caught in the crocodile and you can't use your pace."