Perez: Red Bull agreed they could have done a “better job” with Spanish GP team orders

2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez insists Red Bull are not restricting his ability to race Max Verstappen despite their use of team orders in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Red Bull told Perez to allow his team mate to overtake him twice during the Spanish Grand Prix, including while he was in the lead of the race.

Verstappen won the race ahead of Perez and moved into the lead of the drivers’ championship over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Perez said there had not been any discussions between him and Red Bull about playing a supporting role to Verstappen this year before agreeing to extend his contract with the team for 2022.

“No, not really coming into the season,” Perez said in response to a questions from RaceFans.

The team discussed their handling of the race with Perez afterwards and acknowledged there was room for improvement, Perez said.

“Obviously when you’re in the car, you have certain information,” he said. “The team has a wider picture.

“In the car, at the time, it felt like we could have done a better job, especially in the second stint, giving a better shot, a better opportunity to the two-stop strategy, to see if it could work or not. But it was clear that the three-stop was the way forward. It was better to go that way.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 2022
Transcript: “Why won’t you let me by?” Team orders and DRS dramas on Red Bull’s radio in Spain
“We spoke after the race and it’s all clear. We all agreed that we could have done a better job in that stint to give a better shot to both strategies to see which one worked.

“At the end of the day, for the team, it was a great team result and there’s some great momentum behind Red Bull at the moment.”

When he was given his final instruction to let Verstappen by, Perez described the handling of the race as “very unfair”. However he insists he is free to race against Verstappen if they are in direct competition during races.

“Yeah, it’s fairly clear,” said Perez. “They didn’t need to say it, but it’s all clear. I think on my side of the garage, it’s clear, and inside the team. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. So it’s fairly clear.”

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2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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16 comments on “Perez: Red Bull agreed they could have done a “better job” with Spanish GP team orders”

  1. All drivers are equal, but some drivers are more equal than others. Joking aside, those team orders did make sense and Verstappen would probably win in the end without Perez making it easier, but I’m not sure if those orders would be the same the other way round. Non-official second drivers like Perez or Bottas from few years ago are allowed to win, as long as the primary driver is not in position to do so. It kinda makes sense in a tight fight for the championship, but I hope to see Perez win at at least a couple races this season, he’s doing pretty well and being a bit slower than Verstappen isn’t that bad either, I suspect anyone would be at the moment.

    1. I’m a fan of Perez, ever since his exploits in the 2012 Sauber, and i think he is doing a very good job this year (look at where he is in the title race, you can’t fluke that). But his solid performance this year does make me wonder what Gasly et al could have done if they were given the assurance and backing Perez received after a mediocre debut season with Red Bull.

    2. There’s definitely some drivers who wouldn’t be slower than verstappen atm, but then again those are number 1 drivers, only mercedes this year chose to go with such an aggressive driver line up.

  2. Him making way while he was in the lead seemed like a farce to me in the moment. Red Bull claiming to not restrict his racing is a flat out lie (unsurprisingly).

    1. I mean.. what excuse will Red Bull give Perez the next time they ask him to move over. This was only race 6. Do they expect to give Perez a win later on in the season when Max is still fighting for the WDC.

      This is all the pure garbage talk that we’ve come to expect from Horner and Marko.

  3. The only way Checo can force this is with consistent pace over Max. If he can do that then fair play to him, he will deserve a shot at the title.

  4. I’ve got news for you, Checo:

    You’re RB’s No.2 driver.

    You were brought in on that basis. You’re doing a great job of fulfilling that role. You’ll always be their No.2 driver.

    1. If you outperform the number 1 driver you become the new number 1 driver, ask ricciardo\verstappen and in the past vettel\ricciardo, or vettel\leclerc at ferrari.

      1. @Esploratore – what you said never happens unless the team wants it to.

  5. The point is we all saw how Verstappen struggled to get past a slower Russell earlier in the race, and we know how good Perez is at defending. But will he ever be allowed to defend against a faster Verstappen? Note that letting MV pass is different from, say, a faster Perez being told to back off from trying to pass a slower Max. I guess we’ll see at some point.
    It’s also worth pointing out that Perez has a strong Mexican following, obviously, and there’s a lot of national pride involved too. The way Barrichello and later Massa (during the Alonso years) were seen to have been demoted – and accept that condition – did nothing to boost Formula 1 in Brazil; indeed it’s diminished considerably, especially in terms of TV coverage and general interest.

    1. @david-br George had a 0.7 deficit to Max while Perez had a 1.2-1.4 deficit to Max

      However, this also isn’t the same situation with Bottas or Barrichello. Checo has repeatedly stated if he is demoted to number 2 or formula 1 expands to too many races he is going to opt out.

      1. And it’s not that easy to replace perez with a driver who can extract a decent performance as a red bull number 2, they struggled a lot to find such a driver the previous years.

  6. Electroball76
    27th May 2022, 15:41

    Checo needs to be quicker than Max at least 60% of the time if he wants to be given equal billing at RB.

    1. Yes, pretty much, that’s what happens when you pull a ricciardo (2014), a verstappen (2017 I guess, performance wise) or a leclerc (2019) and take control of the team.

  7. Checo, you’re a number two driver than unlike Mercedes you’ll never be given the green light to fight with Verstappen. Acceptance and enjoy the salary and the opportunity to win a race here or there if Verstappen is out.

  8. They could have but they couldn’t

Comments are closed.