How Perez lacked the pace to capitalise on his perfect pit call

2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez started the Dutch Grand Prix from seventh but was leading by lap three thanks to his bold decision to pit for intermediate tyres on the first lap of the race as rain fell.

Unfortunately for the Red Bull driver it soon became clear he simply was not quick enough to keep his team mate Max Verstappen behind him.

After the race Perez pointed out his team advised him not to push too hard on his intermediate tyres as the track dried out because a second band of rain was expected to hit the circuit. But Verstappen, who was given similar advice, closed on Perez quickly after overtaking the cars between him and his team mate.

“By the time Max got through there was about 13, maybe slightly less that that, seconds between Max and Checo,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner explained. “But at certain points Max was taking two seconds a lap out of everybody. So his feel, his confidence, commitment is great to witness and be part of.”

Horner somewhat exaggerated how much quicker Verstappen was than the rest of the field. Lando Norris was able to more or less match his pace at this stage in the race, until the McLaren driver caught up to the back of Liam Lawson on lap seven. At that point Verstappen lapped 0.9 seconds quicker than anybody else on the track, which was his largest advantage of the whole race.

Verstappen’s margin over Perez was huge. Between laps five and 10 he took over 10 seconds out of his teammate including over four seconds on lap seven alone. But this was more about Perez being slow than Verstappen being quick. During that six-lap phase, Verstappen was only the quickest driver on track once, while Perez never set a lap within the top six fastest times.

So while the team’s strategy jumped Verstappen past his team mate, Perez would likely have found it hard to keep the other Red Bull behind him. that said, Red Bull were surely not too disappointed that bringing Verstappen in first meant the two drivers were not fighting each other for position on track, especially after the close brush between the pair of them in the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race.

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Good calls, bad calls

From there the race settled down until a cloudburst hit the track with 10 laps to go. “Max pulled out a significant lead, and then the pit stop, and then it started to rain again – and then really rain,” said Horner.

“So we pitted, Max first of all, onto the inter, then on the [full wet].”

The team had to react quickly when Perez decided he wanted intermediates as well. “Checo called very, very late to come into the pits,” said Horner. “I think he was actually in the pit lane when he when he made the call to come in, which is why the crew weren’t ready for him.”

That slow stop cost him around eight seconds. But as other teams discovered the hard way, that could be preferable to staying out another lap on the wrong tyres.

At the beginning of the race, Charles Leclerc made a late call for intermediate tyres. Ferrari weren’t quite ready for him, and his pit stop was even slower than Perez’s later in the day.

However Ferrari recognised the priority was to get on the right tyres. “That first one from Charles looks a bit strange from outside, but it was a very good call from him,” said team principal Frederic Vasseur.

“It was a very late call because he was in the pit lane when he told us. But at the end, even if he lost perhaps seven or eight seconds, I don’t know, in the pit lane, it was a good one.

“If you have a look, I think that [Pierre] Gasly also did a good step forward with this kind of call. But it was a good choice to stop on lap one.”

That stood in stark contrast to Mercedes. Failing to bring either of their drivers in over the first two laps cost them a considerable amount of time. Other teams stuck with their slick rubber having missed that opportunity, but Mercedes then chose to bring their drivers in for intermediates.

By lap 11 their cars were down to 16th and 18th. “In the opening 15 laps, we got pretty much everything wrong that we could have done,” team principal Toto Wolff admitted.

2023 Dutch Grand Prix lap chart

The positions of each driver on every lap. Click name to highlight, right-click to reset. Toggle drivers using controls below:

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2023 Dutch Grand Prix race chart

The gaps between each driver on every lap compared to the leader’s average lap time. Very large gaps omitted. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan and right-click to reset. Toggle drivers using controls below:

2023 Dutch Grand Prix lap times

All the lap times by the drivers (in seconds, very slow laps excluded). Scroll to zoom, drag to pan and toggle drivers using the control below:

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2023 Dutch Grand Prix fastest laps

Each driver’s fastest lap:

Rank No. Driver Car Lap time Gap Average speed (kph) Lap no.
1 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 1’13.837 207.65 56
2 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda RBPT 1’13.889 0.052 207.51 58
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’13.904 0.067 207.46 58
4 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull-Honda RBPT 1’14.231 0.394 206.55 59
5 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 1’14.299 0.462 206.36 54
6 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1’14.390 0.553 206.11 50
7 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault 1’14.441 0.604 205.97 55
8 23 Alexander Albon Williams-Mercedes 1’14.468 0.631 205.89 55
9 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas-Ferrari 1’14.472 0.635 205.88 53
10 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1’14.570 0.733 205.61 51
11 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’14.698 0.861 205.26 49
12 40 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1’14.820 0.983 204.92 49
13 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari 1’14.934 1.097 204.61 54
14 63 George Russell Mercedes 1’15.124 1.287 204.09 54
15 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1’15.171 1.334 203.97 37
16 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’15.417 1.580 203.3 39
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’15.489 1.652 203.11 37
18 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1’16.253 2.416 201.07 35
19 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1’17.277 3.440 198.41 33
20 2 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes 1’17.399 3.562 198.1 13

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2023 Dutch Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

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2023 Dutch Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

Rank No. Driver Team Complete stop time (s) Gap to best (s) Stop no. Lap no.
1 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 18.706 3 49
2 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull 18.789 0.083 3 45
3 4 Lando Norris McLaren 18.878 0.172 3 42
4 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 18.904 0.198 2 10
5 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 18.979 0.273 1 15
6 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine 19.024 0.318 3 43
7 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 19.12 0.414 2 46
8 40 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri 19.192 0.486 4 46
9 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 19.289 0.583 2 11
10 40 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri 19.307 0.601 5 59
11 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 19.327 0.621 3 45
12 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari 19.398 0.692 3 41
13 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 19.429 0.723 4 61
14 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull 19.46 0.754 2 12
15 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari 19.511 0.805 2 10
16 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine 19.518 0.812 2 11
17 40 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri 19.6 0.894 3 17
18 63 George Russell Mercedes 19.607 0.901 3 16
19 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 19.653 0.947 3 16
20 23 Alexander Albon Williams 19.667 0.961 1 44
21 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 19.713 1.007 2 48
22 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 19.735 1.029 3 59
23 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine 19.795 1.089 2 10
24 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari 19.838 1.132 4 60
25 4 Lando Norris McLaren 19.871 1.165 4 60
26 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 19.923 1.217 4 34
27 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 19.97 1.264 2 9
28 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 20.036 1.33 1 4
29 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 20.109 1.403 2 10
30 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 20.137 1.431 2 9
31 63 George Russell Mercedes 20.148 1.442 2 10
32 4 Lando Norris McLaren 20.17 1.464 1 3
33 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 20.187 1.481 1 16
34 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 20.208 1.502 2 9
35 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 20.213 1.507 2 47
36 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 20.231 1.525 2 10
37 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 20.266 1.56 1 3
38 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 20.379 1.673 1 2
39 4 Lando Norris McLaren 20.395 1.689 2 10
40 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 20.402 1.696 5 63
41 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine 20.417 1.711 4 60
42 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 20.438 1.732 1 16
43 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 20.469 1.763 3 37
44 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 20.51 1.804 3 35
45 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 20.602 1.896 3 60
46 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 20.647 1.941 1 2
47 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 20.655 1.949 4 61
48 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 20.779 2.073 4 60
49 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari 20.973 2.267 1 2
50 63 George Russell Mercedes 21.201 2.495 1 4
51 23 Alexander Albon Williams 21.3 2.594 2 61
52 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 21.439 2.733 4 60
53 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 21.532 2.826 5 60
54 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine 22.096 3.39 4 61
55 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 22.376 3.67 3 60
56 63 George Russell Mercedes 22.379 3.673 6 67
57 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine 22.534 3.828 1 2
58 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull 22.666 3.96 1 1
59 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 23.088 4.382 1 1
60 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 23.582 4.876 3 60
61 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 23.584 4.878 4 60
62 63 George Russell Mercedes 24.019 5.313 4 60
63 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 25.147 6.441 3 48
64 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine 25.404 6.698 3 46
65 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 27.202 8.496 2 11
66 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull 27.596 8.89 4 60
67 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine 28.469 9.763 1 1
68 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 30.628 11.922 5 64
69 40 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri 30.836 12.13 2 10
70 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 31.341 12.635 1 1
71 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 32.321 13.615 1 1
72 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 32.686 13.98 1 1
73 40 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri 42.641 23.935 1 1

2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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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...

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15 comments on “How Perez lacked the pace to capitalise on his perfect pit call”

  1. It’s weird how much Horner hyped up Verstappens performance in the second stint. And yes even the sky team was like why is Versrappen blazing his inters when more rain is coming. Also it’s weird to blame Perez for coming in to the pits unannounced like he rocked up to French Laundry without a reservation wearing sandals. It was a rational thing to do and total melee in the track. Perez hasn’t really earned a lot of respect in the team but they are just clowning him now.

    1. @dmw In cold or wet situation Perez has really problems to keep his tyres in the right window and Max is all most straight on speed in a lap or so that explain it all.

    2. Max being almost 4 seconds a lap quicker than Checo over a 70 sec lap? To me calls for some acknowledgement of the one being stellar or the other not being.

      1. Max allegedly does a lot of simulator work, and I would wager he routinely makes sure hes faster than his teammate, and makes sure he knows his teammates weaknesses and strengths, maybe even studying them more than Checo himself. Max puts in his work, and I think RBR have the better simulation tools amongst the field. Its no different than when Vettel was racing there, they have a clear #1, and Max is clearly keeping his head down. If Checo were faster than Max, that would be astonishing. But right now, they can afford to let Max walk away with it, Merc and Ferrari are p*ssing in the wind, I would dare say Merc are almost delusional in their design, but what ever. It would be different if Merc were faster, RBR would actually be incentivized to make sure the best foot was forward, but with all the work RBR put in, it not surprising to see the #2 fading back, these people are not complete machine/workaholics.

  2. you can’t single out RB for doing that though, cos Ferrari did it, and even AT did it at the beginning, Liam sitting waiting for the crew to find TSU’s tires when the only option at that point was for Inters.

  3. It’s probably just me, but just in case it isn’t, I am struggling to position the Grand Prix lap times chart such that I can meaningfully read the data. I suppose it isn’t hugely important, but it is a shame when such detailed information is provided that I can’t review it very easily.

    1. René (@renevdkooij)
      31st August 2023, 9:33

      It’s not just you! I have the same issues. I find that chart the most interesting, would be great to see some improvements!
      (accidentally reported your comment, but maybe it helps :-))

  4. Saumya Agarwal
    28th August 2023, 11:17

    Nice Race!! But it was so surprising to not see Norris, Russell and Alonso not make that pit stop at start. Had 1 or more of them made it, Max would have had to fight a lot more. After Monaco another opportunity lost by rivals to stop Max-Bull juggernaut

    1. Saumya Agarwal
      28th August 2023, 11:20

      Given that they cant beat Redbull in normal race, such bold calls need to be made by them if they want victory

  5. Is the US video feed the only one that shows Red Bull telling PER that he has to manage his tires in every race where PER is in front of VER? Yes, VER is lapping faster and taking fastest laps from PER but PER is ALWAYS being told he needs to manage his tires.

    1. @jimfromus
      Yes… I wonder why.. /s

      Out of curiosity I checked the messages. Verstappen is told to look after the tires 4 times (between 0:14m-0:20m). After the 20th minute it seems clear they were overly cautious and that second shower did not produce more than just a few spots. So at 24m they call Verstappen in.

      The radio traffic with Perez for this inter-period was 6 times more, including all kinds of diff setting changes as well. Seemed like he received a lot more coaching help. And Perez is told look after his tires (esp front left) 5 times. Some messages were very specific including turn numbers (1 and 11 (funny enough)).
      To my surprise however, Perez also gets the hurry up. He was told to use more of the tire on 2 occasions.

      These messages coincide with RBR’s expectations of the weather. Up to minute 20 they expected the next shower to be significant enough to warn both drivers to still have some tire left. But after that they actively encouraged Perez to use more of the tire (they obviously didn’t for Verstappen).

      So my guess is the hurry up messages to Perez were not broadcasted?

      So to answer my own sarcastic question at the start: whatever the audience, they’re selecting radio messages just to stir the pot. By omitting Verstappen got the same messages AND omitting the hurry up messages to Perez they’re obviously trying to frame a narrative.

      …which we all know happens… because Netflix and Netflix fans…

    2. maybe he can’t manage while being fast. Sainz is another one that either drops the pace massively to save tyres or drives asking for tyres every other lap.

      Red Bull does these things all the time, that Turkey 2010 crash happened because they told the drivers different things too, giving the favoured one a chance to attack, but Perez lack so much next to Max and even the other guys with fast cars in terms of consistency, it doesn’t bother me.

      If they offer him an extension, he would sign right away. Why should anyone care?

      1. @Edvaldo:
        Red Bull does these things all the time, that Turkey 2010 crash happened because they told the drivers different things too
        Just to reiterate it: they did not tell different things to the drivers in Zandvoort.*

        *) Or, if you insist there is a difference, then Perez received changes to diff settings and a couple hurry-up messages that Verstappen didn’t get

  6. If Alonso, or another driver, had pitted at the optimum times, could they have won the race?

    Also, was it worth pitting at the end of the formation lap?

    1. Doubt it. Red Bull was much faster after the chaos of the first few laps. Perez being erratic as he is was never under real pressure from Alonso, once he managed to switch the tyres, he was gone in the distance.

      Max doesn’t have these moments and is much faster, he would close the gap in a drying track and make the DRS pass.

Comments are closed.