Red Bull‘s Sergio Perez has attributed his early exit during qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix to a technical issue concerning the brake balance on his car. During his first flying lap, the Mexican driver locked up his brakes and ran wide at Turn 3, leaving his car beached in the gravel and earning him last place on the starting grid for Sunday’s race. Speaking to reporters, Perez revealed that Red Bull had been struggling with a technical issue since FP3, despite attempts to fix it. “Just braking, I became a passenger as soon as I touched the brakes,” he said.
Although Perez did not provide specific details about the issue, he emphasized the importance of fixing it before the race. “It’s something that is moving the brake balance quite far forwards under braking and I just hope we are able to fix it as a team tomorrow and be able to race and minimise the damage,” he said. The 31-year-old stated that he was confident that the Red Bull team would be able to address the problem, but admitted that the tight and winding street circuit of Albert Park makes overtaking difficult.
According to Perez, the technical issue is further proof that Red Bull may face a strong competition this season. “It shows the margins already in qualifying how close everyone is,” he said. “If we are not able to put it all together every single Saturday and Sunday the competition is very strong.” This comes after Perez‘s teammate Max Verstappen faced a driveshaft failure during qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix two weeks ago. Despite these setbacks, Verstappen has seen early success this season, winning the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix last week.