Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Yas Marina, 2020

Perez: Second retirement in three races left team in tears

2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez said he had to comfort some members of his Racing Point team who cried after he suffered his second retirement in three races yesterday.

A power unit problem sidelined the Racing Point driver eight laps into yesterday’s race. It proved the beginning of the end of the team’s hopes of beating McLaren to third place in the constructors championship.

Perez retired from third place two weeks ago in the Bahrain Grand Prix, then scored a shock win at the next race which helped elevate Racing Point to third in the standings. The team replaced his power unit for this weekend’s race, incurring a grid penalty which left him 19th on the grid.

From there he had climbed to 14th when his power unit apparently failed on lap nine. “I lost the fucking engine again,” he told his team as he pulled to a stop. “I am off. I have no power.”

“It’s a bit sad leaving the team this way,” Perez admitted after the race in an interview with Sky. “But I told my boys, some of them were crying during the end, so I told them you just have to remember what happened last weekend, what happened in the entire season.”

His two retirements in the last three races followed a series of setbacks earlier in the year. Perez missed the British and 70th Anniversary grands prix after testing positive for Covid-19.

Drivers, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
2021 F1 drivers and teams
“It wasn’t an easy year for us,” he said. “We still managed to finish fourth in the drivers championship. We missed two races with Covid. Reliability issues hit us really hard this season.

“In the end, it’s a shame that we just missed out in third in the constructors championship. I think well done to McLaren, they really deserved that, they’ve done a tremendous job with the car that they have. The drivers have delivered weekend after weekend so well done to them.”

Perez is waiting to learn whether yesterday’s race will be his last in Formula 1. Racing Point, which will become Aston Martin next year, has appointed Sebastian Vettel to replace him next year.

However Perez has a chance to remain in F1 with Red Bull, who are considering hiring him to replace Alexander Albon. “Until they announce the driver line-up, all the teams, I still have a chance, a hope,” he said. “Who knows what will happen next.”

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2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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18 comments on “Perez: Second retirement in three races left team in tears”

  1. It really shows to me how Perez has grown.

  2. Yeah. Too many stories on Racing Point this year. Can’t blame the crew to get emotional.

  3. By Summer they’ll wish they had him back.

    1. I think a decent chunk of the crew knows that now already.

  4. Well they should be proud their driver is 4th in the championship. Also for one special night the old used up engine was singing Tiesto’s The Business.

  5. Timely failure, helped the soft runners. Incredibly rare failure.
    In the end everyone is happy. Rp were gifted a race win, mclaren got 3rd despite their pit stop misdemeanor, rb won a second race, bottas finished a race ahead of Lewis…finished 2nd on the wch. Everything feels scripted. Nothing feels natural, there is always a cloud hanging over the results, we never know when a penalty is coming out, been like this for some years, new is the feeling that race direction and the teams come up with the final results, together.

  6. This is only a rumor at the moment, and I tend to avoid buying into rumors without knowing all ins and outs, but from what I’ve heard and read, he could be announced moving to Red Bull Racing either today or tomorrow with Albon remaining in a reserve role of some sort. We shall wait and find out the eventual outcome.

    1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      14th December 2020, 14:23

      @jerejj It is just a rumour and all articles state the source is Ted Kravitz discussing it on The Notebook Abu Dhabi so just a single source which doesn’t cut it for journo standards.
      However….. a podcast I follow (Missed Apex) have been suggesting for a couple of months now that the deal is close to being signed and they have good sources including inside Redbull. They called the proposed Redbull takeover of Honda PU’s before the press did and a couple of other good calls too.
      Would be justice to see Perez in a race winning car after joining McLaren with such high hopes only to be running with the midfield in a dog of a car. (You had the fastest car at the end of 2012 Whitmarsh, what did you do!!!)
      Sorry, still sore about that one!

      1. @davewillisporter Yes, I heard this from Ted in his post-race notebook, although the first time I heard about the claim of Perez announcement over this week was Saturday on Finnish TV post-qualifying coverage. Unfortunately, the person who said this didn’t share the source for the info he’d received. I guess it was from Ted/UK’s Sky all along.

        1. Ted hates Perez he always avoid talking about anything related, but then Perez makes him talk and teddy can’t bail about is hilarious, russel the awesome and perez the pebble in the sock nobody notice, can only imagine the hype if russel had win on Ham’s car from second !
          Let alone Russell coming thru the grid like nobody actually have ever done in F1, bunch of sided groupies

  7. To Lawrence it seems its more important to have his son in the seat than a capable driver.
    The money RP lost in points is small change to Lawrence it seems.
    Sergio would have finished in the points yesterday.

  8. If he stayed, he would be there for so long that he would be considered a Force India/Racing Point legend.

    1. …in fact, I think it already is.

  9. Perez did a great job all year.
    I have heard that the team’s staff and their mechanics really feel love for Sergio, they will surely miss him, let’s see, I hope Checo finds a good team for next year, RedBull would be great for Perez, but also for RB.

    1. @luis Not all year though. Only for the second half of the season. He did a good job from the moment he got fired. Before that point he was getting beaten by Stroll (4 to 1 not counting the three DNF and DNS).

      Oddly enough similar to Kvyat who also started performing somewhat better when his seat came under threat.

      1. Sick, bad strat and bad luck. Other than that I don’t think Checo put a foot wrong.
        I know that Lance also faced the same as Checo but Lance lacked Checo’s consistency. Checo capitalised on every opportunity to its absolute fullest. Lance would have been just fine performancewise had he not dropped the ball once too often.

        In reality what happend here was that Checo hit his bad luck at the worst possible time. Lance hit.. well no, Lance was never gonna go anywhere. Even if Checo beat him right the way across the season, let’s be honest. Nepotism and business just be like that. Nothing personal, right..

        I for one hope he gets that RBR seat and wipes the tarmac with those 2nd hand Mercedes next season.

  10. He can really hold his head up high while leaving the team. In a 17 race season he had 4 dnf’s and you can argue none of those were his own fault. In 13 races he took 4th in the drivers standings. He scored points in every race he didn’t dnf.

    I’m a huge fan and massively proud for him.

  11. With these new rules on quali-mode, you’ll have more retirements. My guess is most of the mid position teams have chosen to go for broke, relying on the driver to driver under its limits. If they go for the best qualifying mode, they risk the engine in race conditions.

    if the engines turned up to 11, and they aren’t disciplined to drive the car to 10, then they will break the car.

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