Sergio Perez says he wants to have a discussion with his Red Bull Racing team over how the strategy played out in the Spanish Grand Prix, but says he has no concerns about how he was treated.
Charles Leclerc’s retirement came after Perez was fighting George Russell for second place, with Max Verstappen having made an error that relegated him to fourth place. At the time, Perez was asked to move over for Verstappen and duly did, but was later told not to overtake his teammate despite catching Russell and Verstappen quickly on fresh tires. Later relinquishing the lead to Verstappen, Perez came home second and told the team on the radio, “I’m happy for the team, but we need to speak later.”
Expanding on his comments, Perez says his original two-stop strategy was unlikely to win him the race, but if he had been allowed to maximize a three-stopper he could have done so.
“I think today what was clear that a three-stop was a better race time in the various strategies, so I think if I went in that direction I would have won the race, and it worked out for Max,” Perez said. “I think that was something with these cars that was good because we didn’t know at the time which strategy was going to be the best one.
“I only felt that in the first stint, when I gave the position to Max, that I was told that I was going to get it back. When I was on the two-stop I felt like I could have gone through Max and George a bit earlier to try and make the strategy work, but it probably wouldn’t have still been enough.
“Still, it’s a great team result; the season is still very young. The momentum in the team is great so we just have to discuss a few things internally but there’s nothing I’m concerned about. If anything I can say the atmosphere in the team and the momentum we are carrying is tremendous, like no other team, so I’m pleased with that.”
Perez received lots of vocal support from the Spanish crowd after the race, and he admits the overall podium experience was a special end despite his frustration with how a win chance escaped him.
“Yeah, it was great, my first podium here in Spain. They obviously have their two very good Spanish drivers but I can say I’m probably the third one in terms of support here, because every year has been amazing and to be on the podium for the first time is nice and a great team result as well. We took our opportunities and very pleased with that.”