Perez to blame for costly pit stop penalty


Sergio Perez has confirmed he was to blame for the unsafe release that produced a five-second penalty at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Mexican pulled into the path of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso as the majority of the field pitted under an early safety car – deployed after Lance Stroll crashed at turn 22 – forcing the two-time champion to lock up in avoidance.

Perez was still able to finish second, although the penalty took away any thoughts of mounting a challenge on teammate Max Verstappen for the race victory.

Addressing his race, which began with an enthralling battle with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Perez told media including RacingNews365: “I had a great start.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t keep ahead of Charles because he kept it there and I gave him the space into turn two and it was his corner then in turn four.

“So that was a nice start once again and from then on, I was able to get through Charles, I think within two or three laps and then it was looking good, I was within three seconds of Max and I think the degradation on that Medium stint was looking quite good.

“But unfortunately, then we were compromised with such an early Safety Car, and that meant that basically everyone just pitted.”

‘My bad on that one’

On the unsafe release, Perez explained: “When I was going out, it was actually my mistake, because I was told by the team to hold it back.

“I looked on the right and there was nobody there when I looked but in hindsight, I think the penalty was correct and that pretty much compromised our race.”

Asked how visibility effects such scenarios from the cockpit, he added: “You are able to have a bit of awareness of what’s going on around you, definitely.

“When I looked in the mirror, there was no one. I saw that I didn’t have the proper release. But I didn’t see anyone.

“So sometimes the team can be a little bit slower than you in the car. But this time was the other way around. So my bad on that one, but still happily didn’t change the race.”



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