Perez says the F1 “don’t push for anything” radio call was about reliability

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix winner Sergio Perez praised Red Bull’s decision to allow racing between him and his Formula 1 team-mate Max Verstappen, but said both could have slowed down.

In the last quarter of the race, Verstappen began to report vibrations around the driveshaft with worrying noises at high speed, fearing a repeat of his qualifying retirement.

Perez also reported that his brake pedal was beginning to go “long,” but both drivers were informed that none of the data on the pit wall was of immediate concern to the engineers.

Verstappen continued to try to close the gap on Perez after consistently narrowing his teammate’s lead by about a tenth of a second per lap.

But Perez responded with fast laps of his own and took to the radio to tell his team that he felt “we’re pushing for no reason” and “we don’t need to”.

When asked by Motorsport.com if he was anxious for the team to intervene with team orders, Perez replied to the contrary, declaring his joy at driving with Verstappen – and was actually more concerned about reliability concerns.

“Obviously they have more information than we do and I think the team did a fantastic job of letting us race,” said Perez.

“I just felt like there was a point where we had very similar pace within a 10, faster or slower, over the last 10 laps or so.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 2nd place, the Red Bull Trophy Delegate, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 1st place, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, provisional 3rd place, on the podium

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“And I just wanted the gap [if both continued to push] probably would have been a little less or a little more, but it wouldn’t have changed anything.

“I was just thinking about the car. I had some weird vibrations and obviously what happened to Max [in qualifying] was in the back of my mind today.

“I’m sure the team had that in mind too, so it was just a matter of making sure both cars could finish to get maximum points.”

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Verstappen, who had to fight back from 15th on the grid following his qualifying setback, explained that he “didn’t mind” having to blast through the field but was still unhappy with second place.

He urged the team to further evaluate reliability, especially with both cars in title contention at the end of the season.

“We have to make sure that we are reliable without any problems. After three positive practice sessions, in which I then of course had a problem in qualifying, I recovered in second place, which is good.

“Generally the whole feeling in the team is everyone is happy, but personally I’m not happy because I’m not here to finish second, especially when you work really hard at the factory to make sure you do it too manages to arrive here in good condition and make sure everything is right.

“Then you have to do a recovery race which I like, I mean I don’t mind, but when you’re fighting for a championship and it seems like it’s just between two cars, we have to make sure that the two cars are reliable too are.”


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