Perez: 2011 Monaco crash a “watershed” moment

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Monaco, 2011Sergio Perez says his crash during qualifying for last year’s Monaco Grand Prix was a “watershed” moment for his career.

Perez had reached Q3 for the first time in his sixth F1 race when he crashed heavily at the harbour chicane. He missed the race and withdrew from the following round in Canada as he continued to feel the effects of the crash.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s race Perez said: “Of course I also think back to the accident I had in Q3 last year. To me it is like a watershed event in my career.

“There is a time before and a time after the accident. I learnt a lot from what I had to go through and I think it made me stronger. I really want to show what I can do in Monte Carlo.”

Having missed last year’s race, Perez will start the Monaco Grand Prix for the first time this year:

“I have been waiting to race in the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix all my life and, of course, after what happened last year I am looking forward to it even more.

“I strongly believe on this track the driver can make more of a difference than on any other track. As a team we are in good shape and I want to keep that momentum for Monaco.”

Changes have been made to the track following the crash as Sauber’s chief designer Matt Morris explains: “The track has been resurfaced in some areas, for example in the braking zone after the tunnel, so we have got rid of the bump there.

“That?s something the drivers have to get used to, but, if anything, it should be easier. One of the design considerations of the C31 was to improve it over the kerbs, so we should be stronger at kerbing compared to last year.”

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

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19 comments on Perez: 2011 Monaco crash a “watershed” moment

  1. dennis (@dennis) said on 18th May 2012, 12:39

    No matter how good the C31 is, no one beats my mother-in-law when it comes to curbing a car…

  2. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 18th May 2012, 12:44

    I was about to ask what changes had been made to Monaco since the crash…

    You have to wonder whether we’ll see a similar off. And if we do, the consequences of what track changes we may see in the future..

    But that aside, wishing Perez the best of luck on his Monaco return!

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 18th May 2012, 15:18

      @ECWDanSelby

      The wall he hit last year has been moved back further, also.

    • SatchelCharge (@satchelcharge) said on 18th May 2012, 16:54

      You have to wonder whether we’ll see a similar off.

      I would bet against it personally, the bumps coming out of the tunnel were awful last year (and in the biggest braking zone no less) and I’m surprised it was deemed safe for racing. With repaving the drivers will not have much trouble, unless they’re fighting another driver.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 19th May 2012, 3:26

        The thing is, with safety in F1, you can never discount something even if it’s very, very unlikely.

        What if a driver has a car problem coming out of the tunnel? Or clips the outside wall into the braking area, we have seen that before.

  3. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 18th May 2012, 13:37

    You really have to hope that significant changes have been made. Perez wasn’t the only one to have an accident there last year, it caught Rosberg out too.

    Here’s hoping Checo has a good but trouble-tree weekend.

  4. Sam B (@sb360) said on 18th May 2012, 13:51

    I believe that as well as getting rid of the bump they have moved the Armco where Perez had his crash further back and put more of those catch barriers.

  5. Todfod (@todfod) said on 18th May 2012, 13:58

    Every driver seems to share the fact that drivers make the big difference at Monaco. This makes my prediction of the top5 even harder for the race.

    I think I’m gonna go with lewis, seb, kimi, fernando & either perez or maldonado for this weekend. The order of the top 5 is still a mystery

  6. Paulocreed (@paulocreed) said on 18th May 2012, 17:17

    Did they make any changes to the curb that Barrichello lifted in the tunnel? Reinforce it or something?

    • Russell Gould (@russellgould) said on 20th May 2012, 20:54

      Are you talking about when Rubens was taken out by a loose manhole cover going up the hill to Massenet (sorry about the spelling). In his stint at Williams, I think Nico Hulkenburg went offline in the tunnel on the opening lap. Sounds like you have those mixed together?

  7. BBT (@bbt) said on 18th May 2012, 17:44

    It will be interesting to see how well he goes this year.

  8. Poul said on 19th May 2012, 17:24

    I remember Kimi hit the bump in 2008 and crashed into Sutil. Wish they had fixed it then and spared Sergio of that dreadful experience.

    Hope they will both do well this time around!

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