Sergio Perez relieved after walking away unhurt from crash
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) Formula One driver Sergio Perez was relieved to walk away unscathed from a crash at the Hungaroring circuit that left him upside down in his car after it hit a barrier.
A suspension problem on his Force India car caused Friday's crash in a practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The incident happened on Turn 11 during the morning's first session.
While less spectacular than his big crash in qualifying coming out of a tunnel at the Monaco GP four years ago - which left Perez with a concussion and an injured thigh - the 25-year-old Mexican driver was still shaken.
''It was quite a dramatic accident, definitely, losing the car at that kind of speed. The impact was not that bad but when I rolled over I got a little bit scared,'' Perez told reporters outside the Force India motorhome. ''Getting out of the car was quite a challenge, but thank God (nothing) happened and I'm here.''
Following the crash, Force India removed both of its cars from the second practice session as a precautionary measure. The team is still analyzing the suspension problem to see if Perez and teammate Nico Hulkenberg can participate in Saturday's third practice and qualifying.
''The team has plenty of information to analyze. We made the right decision not to run the car,'' Perez said. ''It was a very strange accident. I thought the (track) was dirty at the time, but now looking at the video I can see that the rear suspension just breaks out.''
Perez is hopeful the problem can be fixed.
''I still believe that we can still do a good weekend,'' he said. ''We're still trying to see what the real issue was. We should definitely analyze my accident and see if there's something we can improve.''
He has vowed not to let the crash affect him, should he drive on Saturday.
''Tomorrow we will go even quicker through that corner,'' he said. ''You just have to forget those difficult moments.''
Formula One has been deeply affected by the death of French driver Jules Bianchi, who died last Friday from injuries he sustained in a head-on crash at the Japanese Grand Prix last October. He was 25. Many drivers wore tributes to Bianchi, with race stickers such as ''Ciao Jules'' or ''JB 17'' on their helmets for Bianchi's initials and car number.
Perez, who like Bianchi came through the Ferrari academy, quickly gave assurances to his family that he was unhurt.
''They're quite far away so it's important to keep everyone calm,'' he said, adding that his medical check showed no injuries.
''Everything is fine,'' he said.