Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Imola, 2020

Perez: Podium “was ours” before pit stop under Safety Car

2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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A frustrated Sergio Perez says he believes a podium finish was “in the pocket” for Racing Point before the team’s decision to pit him during the late Safety Car.

Perez, who started 11th, moved into third place on lap 51 after Max Verstappen’s retirement, but Racing Point’s decision to pit him under the Safety Car saw him drop down to sixth place, where he ultimately finished.

Perez said “we had the podium very much in the pocket” before the extra stop. “It was ours.”

Racing Point had opted for Perez to have a longer first stint on the medium tyres than many of his rivals, which allowed him to benefit from running clear air and rejoin ahead of Daniel Ricciardo after his first stop on lap 28.

Perez pointed out he “had the fresher tyres” compared to his rivals when the Safety Car came out. “I think [they were] 15 laps fresher than anyone else around me. But obviously the team at that point has more information.”

He was at a loss to explain the team’s decision to give him an extra pit stop under the Safety Car.

“I don’t know why,” he said. “But obviously it’s easier to know afterwards. We already saw on the first stint how difficult it was to overtake. I spent the last 10 laps of Kimi’s stint behind him. It’s just hard.”

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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20 comments on “Perez: Podium “was ours” before pit stop under Safety Car”

  1. I am completely with Perez there. He had pretty decent tyres, far better than all the cars behind him. Sure, had they all pitted for softs, and ended up back right behind him at the restart, he would have been vulnerable. But then, Ricciardo and Leclerc showed that after about 2-3 laps their hards were still good enough to fight.

  2. Gutted by this. What a stellar performance from Checo with no experience on this classic F1 track.

    Criminal if he is not on the grid next year.

  3. Give him Albon’s place for next season.

  4. Not the first time this year RP have totally botched Perez’s strategy after a late-race safety car. Still… he’ll have plenty of opportunities for podiums in a Red Bull next year I’m sure…

  5. « the team has more information » true, but teams are somehow not using it efficiently.

    Any single one said track position is all important in Imola but teams call drivers in pitroad with 10 laps to go.

    Albon, Vettel, Perez and so on.

  6. It’s like Racing Point has hired Ferrari’s strategist

    1. No they copied the Ferrari strategist… ( the one in the pink outfit)

      1. They have a pale version of Ferrari strategist.

  7. That was a mistake like the one where they pitted vettel on 11 laps old tires amd demktimg him from points to almost last. Leclerc did 50 on the same compound. Perez was on 3rd, amd might have lost a place or 2 because the 2 conpounds harder tyre when not pitting.. but by pitting he lost way more than the 2 places

  8. Racing Point can copy Mercedes cars as much as they want, looks like they’ll find a way to fail to deliver good results every time.

    Stroll has been as bad as ever in recent races and Pérez, unlucky with bad strategy calls.

  9. I’m with Perez, but the fact that he finished 6th instead of 5th is on him completely. He can’t have any excuses for being jumped by Kvyat on the restart, given that they both had fresh softs.

    1. @wsrgo He indeed got jumped by Kvyat a bit too easily given both had the soft.

  10. Racin Point and soon Aston Martin have so many lessons to learn to make track decisions, but Perez beat Albon easily

  11. F1oSaurus (@)
    2nd November 2020, 7:34

    If he hadn’t come in, the guys behind him would have made the stop and then potentially overtook him on track, then he’d been complaining the other way around.

    That’s the problem of being ahead on track with calls like this. It’s always a gamble.

    1. You gamble high when you have nothing or few to lose, this was not the case, they had already 3rd, It was a very very bad call. I just couldn’t believe when I saw him pit.

      1. True that, it was clear for all the race it was hard to overtake, and remember the last data we had, schumacher vs alonso in 2005 and 2006, they alternated each other in the lead in the 2 years and they were never able to overtake each other here, now there’s drs ofc, but even so it’s not the easiest track to overtake at all.

  12. Perez is driving at a level above everyone else at the moment! I could see him even challenging Verstappen if they paired up.

    No justifice if hes not on the grid and in worthy car next year.

    1. There’s only a way to give him a worthy car: replace albon with him, especially considering horner said they were considering non-red bull drivers too!

  13. I still can not believe Perez hasn’t got a seat yet He is truely in his prime. Even with the bad luck he’s having this season, and the terrible RP strategies, I am sure He will manage to finish 4th in DC, I really hope he gets Albon seat cause it will make things way more interesting upfront.

  14. Pérez’s race was extraordinary, his pace is always very strong, very constant, without errors, Checo yesterday led the car brilliantly, a pity that the team’s strategy did not help him, again with a failed strategy.

    Checo was very good.

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