Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2021

Perez doesn’t blame Hamilton for missing his final run in Q3

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez doesn’t believe he missed the chequered flag on his final qualifying run because Lewis Hamilton was driving unnecessarily slowly ahead of him.

Perez failed to pass the chequered flag in time to start a last flying lap in Q3, after both Red Bull cars exited the pits behind Hamilton and the other Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

While Hamilton’s driving prompted claims he deliberately slowed to hold up the Red Bull drivers, Perez was not convinced. “I haven’t looked in detail, but to be honest, I think Lewis had a sensible gap to Bottas, who was ahead of him.”

The Red Bull driver said cars were slowing down further ahead of them. “Something must have happened, someone had dropped back massively from from Gasly I think and I don’t think [it was] towards the end.”

“I think [Hamilton] had a normal gap, I just paid the price by being the the last car of the train,” he added.

According to Mercedes, Hamilton’s final out-lap in Q3 was quicker than others he had driven during the session, including on his previous run in Q3.

Gallery: 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying day in pictures
Hamilton said he was trying to avoid a contributing to a group of cars bunching together at the end of the lap. “We were one of the last cars out,” he said. “I knew that ahead of those guys, ahead of Valtteri and whoever was ahead of him, would all bunch up to the end of the lap.

“So I tried to make as big a gap as possible. And then, even still, with that at the end of the lap we still had to all back off and wait for everyone to get going.

“I was just trying to make sure that I had the best gap ahead of me. But ultimately, I think none of us probably had the best tyre prep for that because everyone was going slow.”

The Mercedes driver said it would have been unfair for him to use the opportunity to hinder Verstappen.

“I had my team mate ahead, obviously I felt like respecting Max was important and I’m sure he would have done the same with me. It’s very unfair to the guy ahead to do something like that. That’s my point of view.”

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2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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17 comments on “Perez doesn’t blame Hamilton for missing his final run in Q3”

  1. Max prevent Perez from getting to the line.

    1. @jimfromus I wouldn’t blame Max for that when you look at the situation ahead of him.

      The real problem was that you have nine of the cars in the Q3 session going out very close to each other, so as each driver in front slowed down, it then backed up all of the drivers further down the line as they tried to keep a similar gap to each other.

      It’s more a case of the teams all wanting to wait as long as possible to try and get the best track conditions, and then inevitably tripping over each other as they all go out at the same time.

      1. It is tongue in cheek.
        He absolutely doesn’t believe Max blocked Perez but it just shows how you can make a deduction that Max did such based on the fact that he was the one directly ahead, just like the allegation Hamilton blocked Max is being insinuated by Horner when in fact Hamiton had another driver ahead of him who also had another driver and on and on until we arrive at the conclusion you just did. They all waited too late

    2. True, I thought I was the only one who noticed that.
      Just goes to show how you can make deductions depending on what piece of the real estate you occupy.
      Redbull have just shifted from the cracked chassis to qualifying impeding.
      That Horner dude just enjoys twisting the knife in.

  2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    31st July 2021, 21:01

    Very unfortunate but at least Checo got a good first lap in that put him on the 2nd row. He can score great points tomorrow and can fight for a spot on the podium especially starting on the softs.

  3. Poeh they have to learn from it. It happened to Max in 2019 Chinese GP also. And now with a competitive car those mistakes are costly. Luckily he was already on P4.

  4. Why is it that with every article concerning Hamilton ,this week end,you have to show the fans cheat banner? This is the second article that i read where this pic show up.

    1. It’s pretty clear the racefans writers aren’t keen on Hamilton

    2. Wow, I hadn’t noticed, I often overlook images.

    3. seriously, very disappointing!

  5. Red Bull had it within their power to choose how to position their cars for the final run, armed with the knowledge that HAM had set a solid banker time on the previous run.

    1. Exactly, and STILL teams persist in leaving the garage so late that they have no chance of a decent second run because there’s so many cars bunched up at the end of the warm up lap they lose tyre temperature and get dirty air or, as in Perez’s case don’t even make the line.

      It’s just madness and they just keep doing it time and time again.

  6. While Hamilton’s driving prompted claims he deliberately slowed to hold up the Red Bull drivers, Perez was not convinced. “I haven’t looked in detail, but to be honest, I think Lewis had a sensible gap to Bottas, who was ahead of him.”

    Prompted claims from his own team. Why not underline that point? Perez is directly opposing Horner’s claim of ‘gamesmanship’ from Hamilton. Has CH any credibility left to lose? Even his own two drivers don’t seem to want to back his cynical drivel any more.

  7. Perez shouldn’t have left such a gap on the pit exit nor sector 1.

  8. If I was a paying spectator in Hungary, I would demand a partial refund from Christian Horner. As a team boss he is responsible to get his drivers out on time.

  9. Christian Horner cannot make everything correctly and in order even in his own team, but still the first thing he says is “gamesmanship” from Hamilton. Horner is losing any dignity!

  10. Bladibla bla. Perez better step up his game. Or the RB team if it is the car being still way off from the Mercedes. Anyway, Perez needs to be seen running in front of Bottas for at least 6 venues in the 2nd half of the season or he needs to exit. Unless RB knows that its the car and Max just does something unexplainable with it. A view that can not count on getting support on this site ;-).

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