The Ferrari hit his rear wheel and pitched him up into the air and into the run-off area.
Perez was in a position to get again to the pits however the group quickly decided that the injury was too in depth for him to have the ability to proceed.
“I’m completely gutted to see Checo exit on the primary nook,” stated Horner when requested by Autosport in regards to the incident. “He had most likely his finest begin of the season, obtained the draft and the tow from the three vehicles forward, so arrived with huge over-speed.
“You possibly can’t blame him, at his residence race, going to attempt to take the lead of the grand prix. I feel you’d need to name it a racing incident, as a result of three into one doesn’t go, and Charles, clearly, couldn’t get out of it and he braked late.
“Irritating for Checo, and actually disappointing for his followers to lose him on the first nook. The fellows did their finest to get him again out however there was simply an excessive amount of injury to the ground and underbody of the automotive. You can see on the replay that Charles was in a little bit of a Purple Bull sandwich.”
Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Sergio Perez, Purple Bull Racing RB19, collide on the opening lap inflicting retirement for the Mexican
After his retirement Perez visited the pitwall, the place he was consoled by his group boss.
“It’s a tricky second for him,” stated Horner. “It’s in entrance of his residence crowd, and he was very emotional, and I simply stated to him: ‘The subsequent race is subsequent week. You’re going for the lead in your house race, you wouldn’t be a racing driver for those who weren’t going for it.’”
He added: “I feel he would have been on the rostrum for positive and not using a shadow of a doubt. It’s an enormous loss for him right here with a automotive that was able to being on the rostrum.”
Horner insisted that Perez and Verstappen would have been allowed to race one another.
“It will have been a straight battle between the 2 of them,” he stated. “So it may have been an fascinating afternoon. Checo had good tempo this weekend, it’s simply irritating that it was a primary nook incident. That was my worry going into the race.”
Perez’s retirement gave Lewis Hamilton, who completed second, an opportunity to shut the hole within the battle for the runner-up spot on this planet championship.
“He’s obtained three races to transform that second place,” stated Horner. “There are 20 factors between him and Lewis. He’s had some misfortune, he’s had some points, however we nonetheless imagine he can do it between now and the top of the 12 months.
Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Christian Horner, Staff Principal, Purple Bull Racing
“He’s a tricky operator, and that’s why he’s within the automotive, as a result of mentally, he’s at all times been in a position to bounce again. He’ll brush himself down and he’ll flip it into motivation.
“A dash race in Brazil. Las Vegas, a road circuit, he’s at all times run properly at road circuits. Abu Dhabi, he’s at all times been aggressive there as properly.
“He’ll have the complete help of the group to try to obtain one thing that we’ve not achieved earlier than.”