Sergio Perez blames technical issue for Q1 exit in Australia

Sergio Perez will start the Australian Grand Prix from last place. PAUL CROCK/AFP via Getty Images

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Sergio Perez says a technical issue affecting the brake balance on his car was to blame for his early exit in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver ran wide at Turn 3 after locking up under braking on his first flying lap in qualifying. The mistake left Perez's car beached in the gravel and means he will start from last position at Sunday's race.

"We had a bit of a technical issue already from FP3 and we thought we'd fixed that, but we obviously didn't and it was really difficult," Perez said. "Very difficult to do anything out there, just braking I became a passenger as soon as I touched the brakes.

"It's something that is moving the brake balance quite far forwards under braking and I just hope we are able to fix it as a team tomorrow and be able to race and minimise the damage."

Perez refused to go into specifics on the issue but said it would be crucial to fix it for the race.

"I don't want to go too much into detail but I am confident that we will be able to fix it as a team and hopefully minimise the damage tomorrow," he said. "It's going to be a difficult track to overtake."

He said the issue, which follows a driveshaft failure on teammate Max Verstappen's car during qualifying in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, was proof that Red Bull wouldn't have it easy at every round this year.

"It shows the margins already in qualifying how close everyone is," Perez added. "If we are not able to put it all together every single Saturday and Sunday the competition is very strong."