Sergio Perez was confused by Carlos Sainz’s F1 Austrian GP’s radio call of intimidation, as both talk of their respective races.
For Perez, he was back on the podium in Austria after a lean period in the title race. He is already massively behind Max Verstappen which is propelled rumours of him being under a certain degree of pressure at the moment. But he bounced back after a poor qualifying to turn it into a podium.
“It’s really nice to get back to the podium, especially at home, such a special weekend for the team and on our weekend that started overall really bad with… I don’t know how to say it, I don’t want to use a bad word… but for the track limits, I think everyone got hit by it at some point,” said Perez. “Hopefully next year when we come back, it’s something that it can be fixed”.
“But anyway, that meant that we started P15 for the race today and we just had to fight our way through it. We had some great pace, some great battles out there but in the end, it’s a good one, especially not been close to 100 per cent physically. But with all the adrenaline going on, you forget about everything,” summed up Perez.
It was a great day and a calculated drive but the VSC strategy from Red Bull could have been better as per the Mexican. “I think with the VSC, something that we’ve got to review from the position I was… yeah, something we need to see,” said Perez. “Also, the way we did the strategy, when we use the Hard at the end, few things to tickle around, but I think, generally… I mean, I got to back to the podium, so it was a good strategy.”
From 15th on the grid, Perez invariably had to overtake and battle and fight with several of his rivals. Amusingly, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was heard on the radio reporting of intimidation by the Mexican which seemed a tad overrated by all.
“I think Carlos and Lewis, both were my biggest fights, so I think Carlos was a bit more enjoyable,” said Perez. “I heard that [radio call]! I haven’t spoken to Carlos, I don’t know what he means with it. We don’t see the face of the other driver. I don’t know. I don’t know what he really means when it! I think we just had a proper fight”.
“They were particularly strong, I’d say, in the exit of Turn Three. It took me a bit longer in one occasion, I was down the inside into Turn Four and all of a sudden I find the Haas stopped in the inside, so I had to back off and so it took me probably a bit longer than I wanted but in the end, we got it done,” summed up Perez.
In the end, a great day for Perez while Sainz felt aggrieved to miss out on a podium by finishing fourth which eventually turned into sixth. He played a team game early on. “Obviously frustrated with the final outcome after having such a strong pace on the medium tyres, feeling also like I was playing the team game and not getting rewarded with a good result,” said the Spaniard.
“It leaves you always with a sour feeling. I’ve been very strong today, very quick, very fast, good overtaking, good defending, but in the end P4 is not what I want. The Virtual Safety Car ending like it was, I think it would have made sense because I was always going to get a bit penalised by that, which I did”.
“I think I lost six or seven seconds of race time, three positions which I had to recover then, using my tyres, track limits… From the first stop onwards my race was quite compromised, especially a shame after having such a good pace.”
It was a great shame for Sainz. However, he was still happy for Ferrari’s upgraded package and his own driving as the F1 fraternity moves to Silverstone for the British GP this weekend, where he won his first-ever grand prix 12 months ago.
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