Sergio Perez reckons there will be review of how the fastest lap and fast laps towards the end of F1 Saudi Arabian GP was handled by Red Bull.

After an early blip against Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, the safety car re-start and the last few laps were only the stressing points for Red Bull’s Perez in F1 Saudi Arabian GP. The Mexican held on during the re-start and built a good enough gap from Max Verstappen.

Despite attempts from the Dutchman, Perez had answers as the two traded fast times in the last few laps. The team were managing it but it didn’t work as much as only vibrations from the car slowed Verstappen and give up chasing the Mexican for the win.

It wasn’t clear for Perez either as he seemingly wanted to be conservative and bring home the car without using too much as if it is only Red Bull drivers in the F1 title picture, the Mexican will want to have less strained parts to fight off Verstappen.

He would have had the drivers’ standings lead but for the last lap fastest lap push from Verstappen, even though his race engineer asked him not be bothered about it. The Dutchman did it anyhow which left Perez one point behind his teammate.

The Mexican was seen asking Verstappen about the information he was provided by the team both in parc ferme and cool down room. And in the press conference, Perez noted that he will review with the team about this, especially as they could be contenders.

Dreams of 2022, late push –

Perez: “Step by step. I think yeah, just in general, it was looking better, the race. Once I got past Fernando, I could do my own race. But once again, when that Safety Car came out, it reminded me all over, Jeddah last year again, and it was like, ‘not again’. But luckily, we didn’t pit. We hadn’t pitted at the time. So yeah, it was a new race after the Safety Car, you know. Very early on, Max came back and we were basically, towards the end, just making sure we kept that healthy gap between myself and Max. But that meant we were pushing quite hard and trying to maintain the gap.”

Reason for late quick laps, radio messages –

Perez: “I did enjoy the race, to be honest. I enjoyed it a lot, especially at the end, just pushing each other with the lap times, knowing that he went a tenth faster, a tenth slower, a tenth faster and it was all pretty intense and then we were told to maintain a certain pace. And I was told again to push them to maintain the pace. So it was just a bit all over the place. Obviously they have more information than us and I think the team did a fantastic job in letting us race. I just felt like there was a point where – I don’t know – for the last 10 laps or so that we had very similar pace, within a tenth, faster or slower.

“And I just felt like the gap, it will have been probably a little bit less or a little bit more. But it wouldn’t have changed anything. But I was just thinking about the car, just making sure. I was having some strange vibrations and obviously what happened to Max was in the back of my mind today, and I’m sure he was in the back of the mind of the team as well so it was just a matter of making sure both cars finished to maximise maximum points.”

Fastest lap situation, review –

Perez: “I asked two laps from the end, while they were telling us… where they told me to keep a certain pace. They told me I had the fastest lap and to keep the pace, a certain pace. So I thought the communication was the same to Max or something. We need to review because I got certainly the different information and I just couldn’t push it there.”

Verstappen: “With a few laps ago, I asked what the fastest lap was. We were first of all free to race and of course we had a target lap time to the end. It’s a point on the line, it was the same also in Bahrain it got asked so especially when it’s just between the two cars, I think it’s quite normal that you asked for what the fastest lap is.”

From the team side, chief Christian Horner noted that their prime worry was the vibrations that Perez and Verstappen were reporting on the radio. After the issue on Saturday, they didn’t want any repeat but fortunately it was cleared and they were allowed to push.

Regarding the fastest lap, Horner agreed that Perez is right to be concerned but the team didn’t wished to get into any orders. They provided them with the lap time and seemingly both went for it but the Mexican didn’t have enough to go up but Verstappen had and eventually got it.

Horner doesn’t see it as a problem to have either of them to have a go at it. Further on, he explained that the apparent issue was the reason why they were asking for the delta times but once the problem was cleared, they were allowed to push and were free to race.

Verstappen catching Perez, fastest lap scene –

Horner: “Once we got to the last five laps, and it was clear that Max wasn’t going to catch, then they came out of it and drove to a lap time. I think the biggest point of concern for us during the grand prix was when Max radioed in with about 15 laps to go saying he heard a high-pitched noise at high speed, and so your heart immediately sinks, thinking about the driveshaft failure of qualifying. But checking all the data that we have here, everything that they could see back in Milton Keynes. All the parameters we had looked okay. And obviously, then they pushed on again. I think we came to the conclusion that you know what, it’s the last lap. If he’s going to go, he’s going to go for fastest lap.

“So I think he’d already come to that conclusion himself. Both drivers had the info. Checo had the fastest lap at that point, he asked what it was. So it was obvious why he was asking. He knew that Max was going to have a crack at it. And Checo gave it up after the first couple of turns, he was already a tenth and a half down, and then you saw him back out of it. I think that you pass the message on to the driver, of course the team’s interest is to maximise the points and at whatever point you feel that you may have a reliability issue then you obviously manage that. I think inevitably Max said on the radio the point for the fastest lap meant a great deal to him and there was no reason for us not to let either he or Checo a have a crack at it.”

Delta times, free to race –

Horner: “It was when we thought that we had the issue with the driveshaft, so it was a matter of just trying to build in a little bit of margin. There’s always going to be that when you’re the lead car. You always want to know that the tail car has hit the target first. So that’s entirely normal. I think for us as a team, we were concerned about if there was a reliability issue, how do we manage that?

“Once we saw there was no issue that we could see in the data, it was a question of letting them get on with it, and then basically both managing the last five laps. The only debates about managing the pace was when the issue with the driveshaft became prevalent. At that point think okay, let’s turn down both cars. But as soon as it became clear that we couldn’t see anything in the data, we released the cars again.”

Here’s Max Verstappen getting fastest lap:

Here’s all what happened with penalty and reversal

Here’s how F1 Saudi Arabian GP panned out