Sergio Perez has admitted that Force India still isn’t sure what caused the suspension failure that led to his car rolling over during free practice one.
The Mexican’s car snapped and speared towards the barrier and rebounded with damaged front wheels over which it clumsily tripped and flipped itself before coming to a halt upside down.
“It was quite a dramatic accident,” said Perez on Friday evening. “But the impact was not that bad.
“When I look back to turn nine, I had a little bit of a snap, but I thought it was just because of the overheating tyres or lack of grip.
“At that point I didn’t know about the suspension, I just knew that it was a very strange accident.
“I thought the astroturf was very dirty at the time, but looking at the video and the data it is quite clear that the rear suspension broke.
“When I rolled over I got a bit scared, and getting out of the car was quite a challenge in that position.
“Thank God nothing happened and that I’m here looking forward to tomorrow.”
Perez’s car was too damaged to take part in free practice two later in the day, and Force India withdrew Nico Hülkenberg’s car for safety reasons when analysis of the crash yielded no obvious cause.
“Obviously the team has plenty of information to analyse and we took the right decision not to run with Nico until we make sure we’ve solved the issues.”
“We’re not totally sure [what failed]. Everyone can see some strange movement on the suspension, but we haven’t confirmed what has happened, we’re still working to see the real issue.
“We can see on the video that the rear suspension kind of bent out, so we’re still analysing with the factory that we can run for the next race.
“They’re working on that solution. My trust is 100 per cent with the team, so if they decide that we run, then we’re ready to go.”
The sad context of the accident happening on the first race weekend since the death of Jules Bianchi was not lost on the paddock, and Perez admitted that he found the crash frightening, despite having rolled cars in the past.
“You know that the risk is always there, [but] it’s always scary when you have a big crash
“Speaking to my family after the accident… they’re quite far away, so it’s important to keep everyone calm.
“But it’s what we love to do. Tomorrow I will go even quicker through that corner, and you just have to forget those difficult moments that every racing driver has.”
The practical side effect of the crash is that Force India, should it find a fix in time for qualifying and the race, will have had minimal practice on the hot Hungarian track.
Sergio Perez and Nico Hülkenberg completed just 25 laps between them during free practice one, all of which were conducted on the unfavourable medium tyre.
Emphasis for the team’s weekend will now be placed on the final practice session on Saturday morning, into which it will attempt to cram as much running as is reasonable.
“It really hurts a lot that we don’t have a lot of information from the track or the option compound.
“We will have plenty to analyse tomorrow. I hope we can have a very good practice three with a lot of information.
“I still believe we can do a good weekend.”