Christian Horner admits concern over Sergio Perez issue reappearing on Sunday

Sergio Perez went off at the same corner during FP3 and Q1 at the Albert Park Circuit.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted that Sergio Perez certainly endured a “horrible day” on Saturday at the Australian Grand Prix, after beaching his RB19 in the opening minutes of qualifying.

It’s certainly a day that Perez won’t be trying to remember anytime soon, with the Mexican now very much up against it ahead of Sunday’s race.

The 33-year-old will start from last at the Albert Park Circuit after going off at Turn 3 in the opening minutes of Q1, bringing out an early red flag.

Perez was unable to escape the deep gravel trap, resulting in his car being lifted to safety by the marshals.

READ: Red Bull worried after Max Verstappen hit with ‘significant disadvantage’

Interestingly, the Mexican went off at the same corner a couple of hours before qualifying in FP3, suggesting that Perez’s off could be due to a car fault rather than due to driver error.

Perez certainly believes something wasn’t right with his car after angrily saying over the team radio “same f***ing issue”, after becoming beached.

After qualifying, Horner revealed that the team are “checking all the data” to discover whether a fault was to blame for the Mexican’s brief qualifying appearance, with the aim being now to ensure that the 33-year-old can gain as many places in the race as possible.

“He’s had a horrible day,” Horner told Sky Sports F1

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“The plan in P3 was to run differently to Max. He never recovered from P3. To lock up and go off, we’re checking all the data to see if there’s something in the engine management – going through all that data as we speak.

“Trying to ensure if there is something it’s not there tomorrow.

“Max was up to P2 halfway into the race in Jeddah – stay out of trouble. Checo as Max have two hard tyres tomorrow. If that proves to be the more dominant tyre, that could prove to be crucial in the race tomorrow.”

On the other side of the Red Bull garage, Max Verstappen stormed to his second pole position of the season, putting him in a great position to extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship on Sunday.

The Dutchman claimed pole by just over two-tenths of a second from George Russell, highlighting how “mighty” the Austrians car is.

READ: Christian Horner furious with FIA’s ‘absolutely ludicrous’ decision

Horner isn’t prepared to say just yet whether the RB19 is the team’s “best car” but that it’s certainly one of their best, although, he is aware of the “sizable upgrades” that their rivals are set to introduce in Europe.

“We’re one point off a maximum score in two races, we’ve got some work to do tomorrow,” admitted Horner.

“Third pole in a row – to say it’s our best car? We’ve had some mighty cars over the years but it’s right up there.

“When we head back to Europe, sizable upgrades from other teams, the delta is much smaller here than on other tracks and we’ll see that into the European season.”