bernasaurus commented on the post, Perez: Red Bull said they would reverse first position swap with Verstappen

bernasaurus commented on the post, Perez: Red Bull said they would reverse first position swap with Verstappen

Sergio Perez says Red Bull told him he would get his place back after letting Max Verstappen overtake him early in the Spanish Grand Prix.

It proved to be the first of two occasions on which Perez was instructed to let Verstappen overtake him.

“On the first stint when I let Max by I was told that I was going to get it back and we knew we were on different strategies,” Perez said after the race.

Perez was running behind Verstappen and George Russell early in the race. Verstappen then spun and rejoined the track behind his team mate.

After Perez made several attempts to pass Russell, his race engineer Hugh Bird told him: “Okay Checo let Max have a shot. Let him through before four.”

(L to R): Max Verstappen, Red Bull; George Russell, Mercedes; Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Spanish Grand Prix in pictures

Perez asked for “one more lap” but was told: “Let’s give him a shot now. We’ll pay it back later.”

Verstappen was unable to pass Russell at first due to an intermittent problem with his DRS. Red Bull therefore moved him onto a three-stop strategy while Perez, who was later able to pass Russell, pitted twice.

That put Perez back in front of Verstappen, who closed rapidly after his third pit stop. Perez was again told to give up the lead of the race to Verstappen, who went on to win.

“When I was back on it I felt like I could have gone through [Russell] and probably give a better shot at my strategy to make it work,” Perez added. “But at the end of the day, it turned out to be the three-stop the way to go today.”

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The three-stop strategy gave “a better race time of the various strategies”, said Perez. “So I think if I went in that direction I would have won the race. And it worked out for Max.

“I think that was something we discussed, it was good because we didn’t know at the time which strategy was going to be the best one.”

He said he would have had a chance of making his two-stop strategy work had he been able to get his position back from Verstappen the first time he passed him.

“I only felt that in the first stint, when I gave the position to Max, that I was told that I was going to get it back, and when I was on the two-stop I felt that I could have gone through Max and George a bit earlier to try and make the strategy work.

“But probably it wouldn’t have still been enough. But still it is a great team result.”

Perez, who eventually made a third pit stop in order to take the bonus point for fastest lap, was pleased with the one-two finish for the team but said there are matters he wants to discuss with them following the race.

“The season is still very young. And I think the momentum in the team is great. So we just have to discuss things internally.

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“But there’s nothing that I’m concerned of. If anything, I can say that the atmosphere in the team, the momentum we’re carrying, it’s tremendous, like no other team. So I’m pleased with that.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said it made no sense to allow the two drivers to fight at the end of the race.

“[Verstappen] very quickly closed on Checo and at that stage there was a tyre delta of close to two seconds a lap,” he said. “So with [high] water temperatures, oil temperatures, DRS that was intermittently working, it didn’t make any sense to let them fight because it was an unfair fight anyway.

“And as it turned out we had to pit Checo anyway for the end of the race. So both drivers worked together as a team and to get the maximum points today was hugely important on a day that unfortunately Ferrari had an issue.”

Horner believes Perez will understand the team’s tactics once he has the full picture of how the race unfolded. “I spoke with him when he got out of the car. The problem for any driver if they don’t have the clear overview of the strategy or a race plot in front of them it’s always going to be emotive to give up the lead. He played very much the team game.

“I think he understood clearly it wasn’t a like-for-like fight because the pace delta between the strategies was so great. From a team point of view I think for me it just didn’t make any sense which was why we didn’t let the drivers get into a fight today.”

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2022 Spanish Grand Prix

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Published at Mon, 23 May 2022 08:51:20 +0000

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