Perez: The Safety Car cost us

Perez: The Safety Car cost us

Perez: The Safety Car cost us

Sergio Perez finished the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix third after starting from second, and blamed an untimely Safety Car for his misfortune.

Perez once again was strong in qualifying for the Formula 1 race in China, second fastest behind his pole-sitting teammate Max Verstappen by three tenths of a second.

While in the race he was not as convincing, losing out to Fernando Alonso at the start and then being unable to catch Lando Norris in the end, but the timing of the Safety Car did not do him any favors.

In the end, he managed to beat Leclerc to the final step of the podium, and he lamented losing grip from his tyres having fought to get past the Monegasque.

Speaking in Red Bull‘s post race report, Perez said: “The safety car cost us a little today, it would have been close but unfortunately it came at the wrong time for us and put us on the back foot and we lost two places.

“Fighting with Charles damaged my tyres a little too much and it made it hard,” he pointed out. “The level of degradation was a little too trying on this track to make better progress, so we struggled.

“I wanted more today, I did expect a little more from the race, the Sprint looked very promising but today we were not able to capitalise on that. We made some changes that potentially took away some of our performance.

“We will review those for Miami to make sure we keep this progression going to keep these better weekends. We are having a lot stronger weekends and it’s just a matter of now being able to lead from lap one and do our own race, hopefully that will come soon,” he concluded.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reflected on Perez’s race, he said: “We were on an aggressive two stop and we were a little unlucky with the safety car which played into Lando [Norris] and Charles [Leclerc] favour, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

“So they got a free stop and were able to jump Checo on track. He managed to pass Charles but unfortunately, he didn’t have enough to catch Lando. Maybe we took a bit too much out tyres early on,” the Briton mused.

Perez remains second in the 2024 F1 Drivers’ Standings, but he is now only nine points ahead of Leclerc who is third.