Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023

Perez rues luck after race is “hurt massively by the Safety Car”

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In the round-up: Sergio Perez said the timing of the Safety Car appearance hurt his race in Canada.

In brief

Perez’s race “hurt massively by the Safety Car”

Perez started 12th and finished sixth in the Canadian Grand Prix, but believes a top five finish was possible. “I felt there was a little bit more, certainly,” he said. “But we just didn’t have the pace today.”

The Red Bull driver started on the hard tyre compound and therefore did not pit along with the front-runners on lap 12 when the Safety Car was deployed. He made his mandatory tyre change later in the race, losing more time as he did.

“I think we got hurt massively with the Safety Car, it came in the wrong moment for us,” he said. “Luck is not with us at the moment, but it’s how it is at the moment.”

He took the fastest lap and bonus point after making an extra visit to the pits for soft tyres at the end of the race.

Haas pair reprimanded for lateness

Haas drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen were given official reprimands for showing up late to the pre-race drivers’ parade.

“The reason for the lateness was the team’s media and other commercial commitments that the driver[s] had to satisfy before turning up for the parade,” the stewards noted. “We considered that this was not a valid reason for the lateness.”

After qualifying second and starting fifth due to his penalty, Hulkenberg suffered badly with tyre degradation and finished 15th. “It was a one-way street in the wrong direction today,” he said. “It just once again confirms that we have a lot of work to do on the long run pace and entire consistency because that’s really hurting our Sunday.”

De Vries and Magnussen “both missed our braking point”

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri, and Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023
Gallery: 2023 Canadian Grand Prix in pictures
Nyck de Vries said he and Kevin Magnussen both braked too late when they skidded into the turn three run-off area together during yesterday’s race.

“Until the fight with Kevin it was a decent race,” he said. “We fought each other hard but I think we both missed our braking point, and with the low grip, I locked up and went straight.”

He said AlphaTauri “weren’t quite quick and competitive enough” in Canada compared to recent weekends. “We need to see why we were lacking performance to understand how to improve. Equally, it was a DRS train and wherever you were, you maintained your position.”

Lundgaard unimpressed with Newgarden

Christian Lundgaard accused Josef Newgarden of forcing him off the track during yesterday’s race at Road America.

“I tried to go around the outside of Newgarden into turn five and basically he just hit me and drove me off the track,” said the RLL driver. “If we can drive that way, it’s okay but it needs to be equal to all race tracks as well.”

He said he was “a little disappointed” to finish the race seventh. “I think we had a car to be around the podium today and at least fight for it at the end.

“I didn’t get a fuel number early enough in the last stint so I was a little surprised when they gave me a pretty big number and was trying to reach that and made a few mistakes which is something we need to look into and understand because I just started locking front [tyres] out of nowhere.”

Miyata takes Super Formula championship lead

Ritomo Miyata took the lead of the Japanese Super Formula championship from Liam Lawson with his second win of the season at Sugo.

Toshiki Oyu led the field away from pole position but succumbed to Miyata’s attack on the 13th lap. Oyu then came under attack from Sho Tsunoi and ran wide trying to defend his position at turn one, ploughing through the gravel and losing several more positions.

Tomoki Nojiri took second ahead of Tadasuke Makino and Kazuya Oshima. Liam Lawson passed Kamui Kobayashi on the final lap for sixth place after the ex-Formula 1 driver was repelled at turn one by Oshima.

With four races remaining, Lawson trails Miyata by 12 points. The series’ next round takes place at Fuji, where Lawson won on his debut in April.

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Comment of the day

Sergio Perez failed to reach Q3 for the third race in a row last weekend.

We gave Bottas a lot of slander for his shortcomings against Hamilton in a dominant car but there is something to be said about his 103 consecutive Q3 appearances in light of Perez’s recent qualifying form.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Titch, Jin and Jack_Hider!

On this day in motorsport

  • 35 years ago today Ayrton Senna won the United States Grand Prix at Detroit, 38 seconds clear of team mate Alain Prost, the rest a lap behind

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22 comments on “Perez rues luck after race is “hurt massively by the Safety Car””

  1. “Fully agree with COTD”

    (just answering on behalf of @jerejj, you understand…)

    1. As a fan of Bottas who was constantly beating the drum that he was genuinely quick and deserving of that Mercedes seat in the face of a wave of comments saying “literally anyone would be doing better in that seat”, I’m feeling pretty good about myself now that the likes of Perez and Russell are having exactly the same thing happen to them.

      If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times: The great drivers make good drivers look ordinary.

      1. A bit apples to pears though as the Mercedes was more dominant. It was more comparable to Hill or Buttons championship cars in which my grandma would have been WDC too.

    2. Simon – You’re clearly obsessed with me.

      1. You should take it as a compliment…in a sort of freaky, terrifying way I guess.

      2. Simon – You’re clearly obsessed with me

        I think he’s just lazy – going for the easy reaction target :)

        The late Niki Lauder always insisted the Mercedes had the best package. Those who listened to the complete explanation would note that he included the driver in the package.

    3. notagrumpyfan
      19th June 2023, 7:54


    4. People have strange fetishes and obsessions

      1. Nothing againts simon and I’m not your mother but help lines are available

  2. There’s something to be said for bottas being better than perez, generally in quali and in the race he tended to be closer to hamilton, however he was worse at overtaking\defending in general.

    Not that I’m impressed by perez’s overtakes lately ofc, like someone said with stroll in the other thread, in recent races if it weren’t for verstappen you’d hardly think this red bull was a very strong car!

    1. Agree, is the red bull as strong as everyone thinks? Hard to tell really. But Peres, instead of ruing safety cars, sort out quali. then the SC won’t be such an issue.

    2. Remember when Max was consistently beating Bottas in 2020? Before that, even Vettel and Leclerc in inferior cars also occasionally beat him. The drivers DO matter after all.

      Perez did not even convincingly beat Ocon and looked unimpressive against Stroll. Sergio is just a journeyman driver with good tire management.

    3. I think the RB is not as strong as the Mercedes was back then. If they would be on par, Perez would cruise it home in 2nd every race. That said I also believe Bottas is a way better driver than Perez. Perez is just here because they couldn’t find anyone else at the time Ricciardo left.

  3. Not only SC, but DRS train & his general lack of pace to get through the field relatively easily like he should in the outright-fastest car on a generally overtaking-friendly circuit, even if not so much this year with the DRS train effect.

    Jake Hughes’ tweet: More strategic, yes, but not necessarily removing the DRS train effect altogether.

    COTD couldn’t be more spot on & I’m baffled how Perez can’t reach Q3 anymore in the outright-fastest car.
    As a mere thought, RBR would struggle to win the WCC if they had two drivers on his current performance level.

    1. I found the T4 incident was more De Vries’ fault, although, with K-Mag’s aggressiveness at the preceding corner, I don’t blame him for being overly aggressive with his lunge attempt.
      Ironically, their battle allowed Russell to do what Barrichello did to Schumachers in the 2000 Spanish GP.

    2. COTD couldn’t be more spot on & I’m baffled how Perez can’t reach Q3 anymore in the outright-fastest car.

      You needn’t be baffled, @jerejj.
      Red Bull have ‘updated’ the car to suit Verstappen, just as they have every other season that he’s been with the team.
      Unless they one day have two drivers with near-identical driving preferences (almost impossible) then tailoring the car for one driver will always come at the cost of the other.
      Perez started the year well, and now the car no longer suits him.

      1. Can’t agree there. Perez is, although slower than Verstappen, perfectly able to get pace out of the car. He’s just trying to hard and makes silly mistakes. In Monaco he dumped it in the barriers, and in Canada he tried to take a gamble on tires that backfired. Nothing to do with pace, he just needs to mix it with the P2 crowd and stop trying to convince himself he’s got a shot at the title.

        1. He could get pace out of that car, and quite consistently.
          Now, however, with this car, he can’t.
          That’s not a mental problem, that’s a matching error. Having to push it harder and go outside of his comfort zone to achieve comparable performance to before puts both the car and the driver in a bad place.

          Perez knows full well that he won’t win anything while the car doesn’t match his style any more. So does Red Bull – they don’t want Perez to beat Verstappen.
          I can guarantee that right now, Perez isn’t thinking he can win the championship. At no point during his Red Bull tenure would he have convinced himself that he had a shot at it, and it would have been made abundantly clear to him in his employment offer that he is No.2.

        2. Perez is, although slower than Verstappen, perfectly able to get pace out of the car. He’s just trying to hard and makes silly mistakes. In Monaco he dumped it in the barriers,

          So did Verstappen. It was just a question of impact angle and luck. Both MV and the team said it was lucky.

  4. notagrumpyfan
    19th June 2023, 8:03

    I can’t see how the SC timing disadvantaged Perez. It helped him jump a few early pitting cars, and create free air for the Ferarri’s and him. From memory Perez overtook just one car on track!

    The real reason for his poor result was his inability to reel in and overtake the Ferrari’s. (Again from memory) After his stop he was on faster tyres, but was unable to make any inroads.

  5. The safety car helped Perez. The Ferraris lost their early race advantage over him from using medium tyres compared to his hard tyres. Without the safety car Ocon would not have found himself behind slower cars, not made a second stop and would have been more in the mix with the Ferraris and likely been ahead of Perez. In fact most people who pitted under the safety car lost time behind slower cars who didn’t pit and apart from Albion ended up two stopping.

  6. King of excuses

Comments are closed.