Sergio Perez has revealed he almost got out of his Red Bull F1 car when it stopped on the formation lap at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Perez’s car completely shut down on the formation lap meaning he wasn’t able to take to his grid position of 11th.

In accordance with the FIA regulations, Perez had to start the race from the pit lane when his Red Bull car managed to get going again.

Perez enjoyed a strong drive through the field, ultimately finishing fifth on his debut for the team.

Reflecting on what happened on the formation lap, Perez said: “. All of a sudden, while I was warming the tyres up, all the systems shut down and I was so close to jumping out of the car.

“Then I listened to my engineer, to Jonathan and then said, “OK, let’s go”! but we had to start from the pit lane, which put us way back.”

Perez believes having a full grand prix distance under his belt will prove to be crucial in helping his understanding of the Red Bull RB16B.

“But the most important today was the kilometers we’ve got, because we missed out on Q3 and those laps were going to be very important in our progression,” Perez added.

“But today, the race has made a huge difference in our progression, it was very good. I’m just happy because of those kilometers, things are now starting to click a bit more, lap by lap, my understanding of the car is just getting better and better. So, we just have to keep on working hard with the boys.

“It’s a shame that we lost the race with Max, because I think the car was performing really nicely but we’ll be back. It’s going to be a long season ahead of us, I just have to get on with it, just take my time and go through the process. But I’m very happy with how my weekend ended up, in terms of understanding of the car.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner described Perez’s reaction to the formation lap failure as “very mature” and he was pleased with his battling drive through the field.

“He was very mature, he showed his experience, he had an issue on the warm-up lap but he kept a very calm head,” Horner said. “We lost all communication with the car. He took control of the situation, he rebooted the car and got it going.

“I think his recovery drive was very strong, so very useful for him to get the time in the seat and get more used to the car. His overtaking, his pace was very strong today so that’s encouraging for him.”