Christian Horner reveals of Sergio Perez having hit with a tear-off which cost him downforce points in his F1 Australian GP struggles.

While it look like struggle for Red Bull’s Perez during F1 Australian GP, post the grand prix, team boss Horner revealed the reason for his shortcoming. It was down to a tear-off getting stuck under his floor after he passed Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.

It was not known to him or anyone, only after the car returned to the garage that they spotted the tear-off. That is why after clearing Alonso, Perez couldn’t stretch out in the pursuit of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, who was expecting a charge from him.

“We went long on the first stint,” said Horner. “And his actual pace when he was coming through the field on the hard tyre as he closed in on Fernando was strong, and matching that of the leaders. And then literally as he’s passed Fernando, he’s picked up a tear-off underneath the floor and it’s got lodged in an area that’s caused significant load loss.

“So literally as he’s then passed Fernando, the car’s not working as it should. And so then you start to see degradation on the tyre, and again at the end of the second stint, which has been unusual for our cars. I think it was in excess of 20 points. So it’s a significant amount. It just shows how sensitive these things are,” summed up Horner.

Despite the tear-off, Horner doesn’t think Perez would have caught up with Carlos Sainz and fought for the win. “Difficult to say,” he said. “I mean for sure he’s been compromised when he’s picked up the issue with the floor. I think they were maybe just a bit, maybe a bit too quick, but you never know.”

Perez, meanwhile, was unaware of the tear-off but aside that even, the Mexican reckoned Red Bull weren’t in the best shape in Australia which was likely down to the nature of the circuit. “I don’t think it was an ideal weekend for us, since Friday we had struggled quite a bit with the long run and we tried different solutions and compromises for Saturday but we couldn’t get a total handle on it,” he said.

“In the first stint the balance was super neutral, I didn’t have any rear grip and we completely destroyed the rear tyres and then the second stint I completely destroyed the front tyres. It wasn’t a nice balance out there, it was a bit of surviving mode with the degradation we had, and we didn’t match up to Ferrari or McLaren. The grid penalty also harmed us because without that we could have ended up a lot further up. I think today was track dependent.”

Here’s Max Verstappen, Christian Horner on race-ending streak

Here’s how F1 Australian GP panned out

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