Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit Zandvoort, 2022

Perez believes third on grid was possible before spin

2022 Dutch Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez suspects he could have split the two Ferrari drivers on the grid if he hadn’t spun at the end of qualifying.

The Red Bull driver spun at turn 13 on his final flying lap in Q3. He had only done a time on used soft tyres up until that point, and the 1’11.077 he set earned him fifth place on the grid.

“It was a shame, I was on a good lap,” said Perez in response to a question from RaceFans. “As I was picking up the throttle I went quite aggressive and then just kissed the gravel and just lost the rear end, unfortunately.”

He will start in fifth place between the two Mercedes drivers, both of whom had to back off when they reached the yellow flags triggered by Perez’s spin.

Perez believes he was on course to improve his time significantly before his spin at the end of the lap. “I was [up] a good three-tenths on my previous time,” he said, “so I think it was looking I could have got another tenth or tenth-and-a-half and that would have put me in P4, P3 maybe.

“But it is what it is and tomorrow hopefully I’m able to have a strong start and just go with the lead early on and be in the fight for the race.”

Following their dominant performance at Spa-Francorchamps last week, Red Bull were far off the pace during opening practice at Zandvoort on Friday. But they improved their car’s performance overnight, allowing Max Verstappen to claim pole position by two-hundredths of a second.

“It hasn’t come that easy,” said Perez. “We’ve been chasing it quite a bit throughout the weekend. It’s been certainly a harder weekend for us than it was in Belgium. We will try our best come tomorrow to make sure we are able to maximise everything.”

“I think the track layout, the characteristics and the track temperatures, they don’t play in our favour as much as they did in Belgium,” he added.

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Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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16 comments on “Perez believes third on grid was possible before spin”

  1. With Verstappen on provisional pole, and others behind on fast laps, does anyone find Perez spin a little suspicious – question?

    1. @swh1386 Yep, a question mark at least, mainly because he seemed to have been losing adherence even before the gravel, though I’ll have to watch a replay.

    2. @swh1386 not as suspicious as I found his spin at the end of Q3 in Monaco, which even prevented his teammate improving

    3. It looks that way on the surface, and I wouldn’t put it past them if the championship was a little tighter. But I’ll give benefit of the doubt and say it was just Perez making a mistake trying to get in the mix.

    4. What’s the point? The only people who are pretending the championships aren’t over are those worried about losing viewers in the latter stages of the season. A lot of people tend to tune out when the championship is decided; this was why Ecclestone pushed for double points races (plural!) back in 2013. He only got one for 2014, after which the idea was thankfully scrapped entirely. But it’s still a concern for the broadcasters.

      Besides, Red Bull never engaged in such shenanigans even when it could have had a benefit. And if they wanted to do something like this, they could just park the car in the gravel at the preceding chicane; not spin at high speed and risk damaging the car.

    5. We’ll never know I guess, so you may think what you want. But to me it seemed like a honest mistake. RBR has no need to do that kind of tricks, really.

    6. When Perez is inn the mix in qually you know his car is a rocket. Hard to think Max drived better than say Lewis today. Lewis dotd the gap to a 1 lap phenom is v good.

      1. Drriver of the day on saturday? Is that a thing? And does anybody cares about it?

      2. Driver of the day in Qualifying is the one who sets the fastest time in Q3. Not necessarily the one who starts on Pole on Sunday, because let’s be honest, Sainz was not the star of qualifying at Spa last week

  2. It’s not too clear cut is it, especially if he was on a faster lap himself. I just always get suspicious when I see someone have an incident right at the end, especially given that there is seemingly no limit to the depths Red Bull and Perez are willing to go to help Verstappen

    1. Sergio, sbinnala!

    2. It’s a meme originated from binotto, which basically means he was ordered to spin and ruin his lap to keep verstappen’s rivals behind (I don’t think they did on purpose though).

  3. How embarassing with your teamate on pole you should expect 2nd. Perez needs to go he is way worst than Bottas. Merc and Ferrari are giving us good pairings

  4. If Perez was a faster driver, he would have had more points then his teammate.

  5. If anything I think this maybe prevented the merc drivers from challenging for pole, since the top 4 were all within 1 tenth of each other.

  6. 3rd? If he finished his lap hell be back in 6th behind both mercs.

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