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Perez bemoans 'massive shame' that ruined US Grand Prix

Sergio Perez was left ruing his luck after first lap contact ruined his hopes of a better United States Grand Prix result.

Sergio Perez has labelled his first lap contact with Valtteri Bottas as a "massive shame" after it broke his front wing in the United States Grand Prix. Perez had qualified the Red Bull in fourth, but dropped to ninth as he had taken new engine components, and was battling side-by-side with the Alfa Romeo of Bottas on the opening lap. At Turn 9, Perez slithered up the inside of Bottas, but collided with the front-left of the Alfa, breaking part of the end-plate of the RB18. While the piece eventually detached itself and Perez did not need to replace the wing at his pit-stops, the Mexican still felt the mishap had cost him in the race.

Perez on Bottas collision

"It was pretty exciting to be battling with Charles [Leclerc] and with George [Russell]," Perez told media, including RacingNews365.com. "It was a massive shame that we lost half of the front wing. I was inside [of Turn 9], but he didn't see me and just turned in. "I think it hurt the balance quite a lot, but it is what it is. Once we managed to fix it, we were able to go quick. "The problem was in the second stint, they didn't know at that time what was missing."

First title for Perez

Perez also claimed the first championship success of his career as teammate Max Verstappen's victory, coupled with his fourth place, secured the Constructors' Crown for the team, the day after owner Dietrich Mateschitz passed away. "It's been a very emotional weekend for the whole team, so certainly to clinch it today, it's a massive result," Perez explained. "It is amazing to able to win the Constructors' title. It's a massive achievement from everyone on the team. "It's been many years of domination from Mercedes, so I really hope that the Red Bull era is starting!"

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying