Raikkonen was “over-optimistic” in British GP clash – Perez

2021 British Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez brushed off his British Grand Prix clash with Kimi Raikkonen as “over-optimism” on the latter’s part as they fought for 11th place.

Spinning out of Saturday’s sprint qualifying race meant Perez started the grand prix from the pit lane. He came across Raikkonen following his first pit stop and overtook him for 13th. He rose up to eighth, then pitted a second time and dropped back behind the Alfa Romeo driver.

Perez’s tyre life advantage enabled him to overtake several cars and close back in on Raikkonen, and they went side-by-side into the Club complex with six laps to go. As Perez passed him on the outside, Raikkonen spun down to 16th. The stewards decided to take no action over the incident.

“I think he was just over-optimistic,” said Perez. “He was moving very late into [turn] 15. I overtook him around the outside, and then at 16 I was on the inside so I was ahead of him and he tried to stay around the outside.”

Raikkonen thought his rival “maybe didn’t see me” before his spin, but was unbothered by no blame being attributed for the incident.

After the scuffle, Perez made a third pit stop and dropped behind Raikkonen again, and finished a lapped 16th but with fastest lap. Red Bull’s decision to pit Perez from 10th place for fresh rubber denied race winner Lewis Hamilton an additional championship point.

Perez said the British Grand Prix was “definitely a big weekend for us to forget”.

“We were not able to make as much progress as expected,” he explained. “We found ourselves in a very difficult position with tyres. As soon as we were getting into the DRS train it was pretty hard to pass people.

“I think P7 was possible today, definitely. I think Lance [Stroll] and Fernando [Alonso], with a couple more laps definitely I could have got them, but more than that was pretty difficult and in the end for strategic reasons we decided to [pit].”

Perez said Red Bull took a flexible approach to his race strategy. “We remained very open, and as soon as we found ourselves in a traffic position with the DRS train it was worth trying something different”.

The lack of points means Perez has dropped to fifth in the standings, and Red Bull’s title lead has been slashed to just four points.

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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22 comments on “Raikkonen was “over-optimistic” in British GP clash – Perez”

  1. Is this the first time this has happened? Pitting knowing you’ll lose points but taking away one from your teammates WDC rival, surely it is. Bottas gets flogged for, well being Bottas, but he’d get double flogged if he did such a thing.

    I guess it’s a time thing, Bottas has just been playing ‘the team game’ for too long, I guess people don’t mind if it’s the first season at the team.

    1. Well, I doubt it is the very first time something like this happened @bernasaurus, but on the other hand it certainly is the first time since we get so thorough coverage, radio messages and a boatload of images and videocoverage of racing.

      I guess it goes to show to what extent teams want to go for a championship.

      1. you don’t need radio coverage to understand this one, though. (I applaud the move by Red Bull, by the way)

    2. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      19th July 2021, 17:25

      Has anyone noticed how Perez keeps toeing the team line. It is always “we, us” never “I, me.” I remember he said “let’s go get them” while letting his team mate past at one of the races.
      Granted, English is not his first language; even then it’s hard to not imagine that he’s been told he exists purely as a second driver and act as a rear gunner. I doubt even Bottas has such clear instructions to be second driver as Perez.

      1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
        19th July 2021, 17:26

        Oops this was meant to be an individual comment.

      2. Rodric Ewulf
        20th July 2021, 4:19

        Probably it happens because it’s his first year at Red Bull so Checo is trying to get cookies from his new team, and as such he left his self behind at least for the time being to work for the team in first place.

  2. Indeed. Kimi should’ve just given up as he had already lost the position, so no point trying at all costs against a considerably faster car.

    1. This is why he is a Champion. You can see the clear difference in mentality between drivers of Champion material and average quality. They don’t roll over and give up/back down just because there is no hope, inferior machinery etc. And I am not just referring to Kimi, but the whole lot of drivers who have won/came very close to winning WDC throughout the generations. They are all cut from the same cloth.

      Reply moderated
    2. Kimi said dom thing about he would rather fight than just give up. He knew he was slower and even complaned to the enginer afterwards saying he spun because the car was to slow.

      Reply moderated
  3. I thought you had to finish in the top 10 to get the fastest lap point?

    1. @f1-plossl You don’t get a point, but neither does anyone else…it isn’t a system where the fastest race lap among the top 10 is worthy a point…someone have to have the outright fastest race lap AND a top 10 to activate the fastest lap point.

      1. Thanks, I knew I was being dense but couldn’t fathom what it was :-)

  4. Kimi’s revenge for Monaco 2013 backfired.

  5. It’s sad to see that Perez is indeed the useless pawn I predicted he would be.

    In all likelihood he was only hired to learn some secrets about the Mercedes engine. Or perhaps they really can’t find a decent driver to come play pawn in aid of Verstappen in the unsupported #2 car at Red Bull.

    1. Rodric Ewulf
      20th July 2021, 5:30

      More conspiracy theories thrown carelessly around the website, isn’t that, @f1osaurus? And again winding up your narrative acting like if Perez was 100 points behind Bottas in the WDC like Albon was last year (even when in reality the second Mercedes driver just got ahead of the second Red Bull driver last GP). Of course that you hold the biased assumption that Red Bull had a net gain of 100 points per driver from 2020 to 2021, but let me show you a little piece of some interesting stats:
      2021 – 10th round: Hamilton 177pts. Verstappen 185pts. (-8pts. difference)
      2020 – 10th round: Hamilton 205pts. Verstappen 128pts. (+77pts. difference)

      Now how can you assert that Red Bull had such a huge leap in performance when Hamilton scored just 28 points less this season than previous one up to the same point? Did he have such a subpar performance until that point of the year in 2020? I doubt that, and you wouldn’t like to defend this point because he’s your unfailable idol after all. But then you could appeal that in 2020 the Mercs were no longer dominant and actually Red Bull didn’t improve that much, more or less stayed on the same level between the two years. If so then you should agree that Verstappen upped dramatically his game in 2021 and is in a terrific run outracing his current machine (after all, 57 points gain from just one season to another with a car capable of the same things is very much). Is Verstappen really driving that much better in 2021 when comparing to 2020? Again, I doubt so, and it wouldn’t be convenient for your narrative anyway.
      So it’s checkmate for your delusional attempt to portray Lewis as doing a heroic wrestle of a crappy car against a dominat one this season. Mercedes did not lose that much in race pace from 2020 to 2021, and Red Bull didn’t gain a gigantic amount of strength for the time being either. If anything, they’re closer than ever now. And clean or not, the fight of the two titans Lewis and Max is on, gaining momentum under nearly equal terms and will very likely go down to the wire. Unless Lewis becomes even more reckless and desperate than he is now and Lady Luck leaves him alone for good. Then maybe the championship fight is over a little earlier, if he keeps on cracking under pressure.

  6. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    19th July 2021, 17:26

    Has anyone noticed how Perez keeps toeing the team line. It is always “we, us” never “I, me.” I remember he said “let’s go get them” while letting his team mate past at one of the races.
    Granted, English is not his first language; even then it’s hard to not imagine that he’s been told he exists purely as a second driver and act as a rear gunner. I doubt even Bottas has such clear instructions to be second driver as Perez.

    1. I think it’s a cultural thing.
      I’m Mexican and that’s pretty much how we talk, we try to remain humble and include everyone in the group or team or whatever… The only way you’re going to single you out is by accepting a mistake or something like that.
      It can be perceived as impolite and i think is super ingrained in out culture. One time i was asked to talk about my achievements in my previous job but without using the word “WE” and man…. it was difficult.

      Reply moderated
    2. why are you posting the same comment multiple times on the same article? Once is surely enough

      1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
        20th July 2021, 4:43

        Apologies, the phone was lagging so ended up pressing the submit button more than once.

        1. Its happens quite frequently on here whatever device you are using.

    3. No team wanted him last year despite the money he brings. So he had to take what he could get. What did surprise me Sunday; and shouldn’t have, was that they threw away possibly good team points in their desire to protect Max to the tune of one championship point.

      1. Rodric Ewulf
        20th July 2021, 16:35

        ian dearing Wasn’t because of daddy Stroll’s money that he lost his seat at Racing Point/Aston Martin? If it was in terms of pure performance he would be there alongside Vettel as he confortably beat son Stroll over a season. But some things are just convenient to forget, of course. Like how much Bottas’ races are sacrificed on behalf of their team’s star as well.

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