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Well, That Was…Terrifying

During the red flagged portion of today’s qualifying, when no news was available about Sergio Perez’s condition and while all manner of terrifying scenarios were running through everyone’s minds, I thought I would at least make an attempt at completing some meaningless yet necessary tasks to pass the agonizing time. I gave that up in a hurry, though, when I tried writing my landlord’s address on an envelope and couldn’t even form letters, my hands were shaking so hard.

I know I was far from alone there. The only acceptable sequence of events that includes a crash goes like this: (1) a crash happens; (2) the disgruntled driver removes the steering wheel and jumps out of the car. When minutes tick by without step 2 happening, when the ambulance arrives and screens are put up to hide what is going on, and when there isn’t radio communication with the driver confirming he’s okay, it’s hard not to have the worst-case scenario at least nudge its way into the back of your mind. This, after all, was where Karl Wendlinger crashed back in the terrible year of 1994, and this was the crash that people, during morning practice, had been sighing sighs of relief over Nico Rosberg not having.

To learn that Perez has nothing more than a mild concussion and a bruised thigh was both a massive relief and an illustration of how safe F1 cars are these days. In fact, I read that if it were up to him, he’d be racing tomorrow. Of course, his doctors have other ideas! No Monaco Grand Prix for him this year. Regardless, he seems to be in good spirits, if his posts on Twitter are any indication.

Before that shunt, Perez was having a great day of qualifying, making it into Q3 for the first time. Monaco seems to be a good circuit for him — he won there last year in GP2 — and it’s really unfortunate he won’t be able to race there this year. But he’ll have next year to show what he can do in Monaco, and he’ll have the remainder of this year, for that matter, to show what else he can do — and if that same crash had happened twenty years ago, what are the odds that would have been the case?

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