Sergio Perez says he misjudged the pass made by Lando Norris on him, thinking he went off to clear him, as the two discuss their F1 Portuguese GP results.
Red Bull’s Perez lost a place to Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz at the initial start of F1 Portuguese GP and while he retook it upon re-start after safety car, he lost to McLaren’s Norris instead. In fact, the Mexican was of the view that the Brit cleared him flouting track limits at Turn 4-5.
However, it wasn’t the case as Norris continued to run ahead of Perez, until the Mexican passed him and secure track position. “The race was a bit messy,” said the Red Bull driver. “At the start, there wasn’t a lot of grip on my side, I had wheelspin and so I lost the position to Carlos, then I recovered the position at the restart.
“But then I lost it to Lando down into Turn 4-5. I looked in my mirrors and I thought Lando was totally off the track, so I didn’t fight the position hard enough, thinking he would give me back the place. But I probably misjudged that one.
“It took me a couple of laps to get past Lando and that created a gap to the leaders which meant I was basically [out of] the race already,” added Perez, who noted that he is still not at home with the car, but is pleased with the progress. “No, not yet.
“I’m still far away from that. It’s just a process I guess and hopefully very soon I can be at home with the team and very much feel a part of it,” Perez summed up. On the other side, Norris didn’t think he was that off, but noted that the Mexican was anyhow quicker and that small blip didn’t change the result.
“From what I did what I thought I was fine,” said Norris. “I have to see it from an on board and from the T-cam or something, But no I think, I went to the inside, you know, if I went off, I would have gone to the outside of him or something.
“So it’s tricky, especially over Turn 4 you get a wind change. I was very close to him so it’s difficult in the dirty air as well. But at the end of the day, he was a long way ahead by the end of the race. So I don’t think it made too much of a difference for him.
“As for my starts, the first one was just a good battle with Esteban. I got him in the first few corners, he got me back again. And then I got him with quite a good move in turn 11. So a good little battle. And then I got two cars on the restart I got Carlos, because I kind of saw him battling with Sergio in the first couple corners.
“So I was able to kind of sit back a little bit, prepare my line and have a good opportunity to get ahead of both of them, which, which I managed to do. Certainly, we don’t have the pace to stay ahead of a Red Bull,” summed up Norris.
Talking about finishing fifth after a rather low-key qualifying, it was a challenge for Norris, especially on the medium compound, with the longer stint and keeping Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc behind. “It was extremely difficult as it was a long stint.
“I had Charles behind me and he stopped 6-7 laps later for hards, so he could have pushed a lot harder, but the think that was tricky was Carlos trying to undercut me, which I had to push a lot in the stint which made it difficult in the later half to manage my tyres and manage by pace with Charles pushing me. That did made me nervous and lot more tricky but we did a good job in the end,” summed up Norris.
Here’s the video of initial race start: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2021/5/2021_Portuguese_Grand_Prix__Watch_the_race_start_at_Portimao.html
Here’s Patricio O’Ward winning for Arrow McLaren
Here’s Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on their re-start duel