Sergio Perez described himself as “very lucky” to avoid hitting two marshals during the Safety Car period in the Monaco Grand Prix.
When the Safety Car was deployed to clear up debris that had been left on the circuit as a result of Charles Leclerc’s puncture, a number of drivers took the opportunity to pit for new tires. At the same time, marshals were cleaning the track at different points, and two on the pit straight were trying to cross the circuit when Perez emerged from the pit lane.
“I don’t know if you saw but during the Safety Car I had a marshal running into me,” Perez said. “I nearly ran him over, two of the marshals. It was under the Safety Car, coming out of the pits into Turn 1. That was really bad. They were running back and I was coming out of the pits. I had to brake and I was very lucky, they were very lucky that I avoided them.
“They are usually very good. It is a safety issue, and the most important thing at the end of the day is safety for marshals and drivers.”
Perez later tweeted footage of the incident, adding: “After this incident, I’m just very happy with the outcome of my day. That we all can go back home safe and sound with our families. For the safety of the marshals I hope it never happens again!”
The near-miss came in a race where Racing Point struggled compared to most of its midfield rivals, with Perez admitting the team has work to do after two uncompetitive showings.
“It was really as expected,” he said. “When you start P16, it means it was always going to be a really hard race, and there weren’t a lot of margins. The opportunity came with the Safety Car, and I think we did the right thing to box but then Lando (Norris) was very slow and dragged the whole pack back. That did hurt us quite a lot, and we lost track position to the people inside the top 10.
“Then I tried a move on (Kevin) Magnussen, which I think was all correct, but he cut the chicane so he just got a warning but it didn’t change anything. We only have one move in Monaco, and when you do it and then the car ahead cuts the chicane there is no more opportunity for it.
“During the race when (Antonio) Giovinazzi was ahead of me, he had contact with (Robert) Kubica and we stayed there for a couple of seconds and it was a bit of a chaotic race.
“We have been far from the points the whole weekend, so there is a lot of work to be done in the coming races. We are still fifth in the constructors’ championship, which is amazing. I think we need to pull ourselves together and try to maximize what we have in the coming races to see if we can score some points.”