27 May 2013
Perez: Raikkonen was at fault
Sergio Perez says Kimi Raikkonen was to blame for the clash that put him out of the Monaco Grand Prix
Sergio Perez said he felt Kimi Raikkonen was to blame for the clash that ultimately say him forced to retire from the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Mexican had emerged as one of the stars of a chaotic race in the principality with a battling drive in both parts of a race that featured a mid-race stoppage following an accident for Pastor Maldonado.
Perez had battled hard with Fernando Alonso's Ferrari prior to the red flag being thrown and was able to get ahead of the Spaniard when he was forced to cede position after cutting the Nouvelle Chicane as Perez tried to find a way through.
A similar move at the Chicane had earlier allowed Perez to get ahead of team-mate Jenson Button but when he tried to pass Raikkonen for fifth spot at the same corner, contact saw the McLaren hit the barriers on the inside of the circuit and caused brake issues that would ultimately force him to retire in the closing stages.
Speaking afterwards, Perez insisted it had been a 'great race' but laid the blame for his clash with Raikkonen firmly at the Finn's door.
“I'd had a great race – I'd been overtaking cars through the afternoon – but in my opinion Kimi didn't leave me enough room when I tried to pass him as we exited the tunnel, and as a result I got squeezed into the wall on the entry to the Harbour Chicane,” he said. “That was a real shame – I'd overtaken both Jenson and Fernando there, and Jenson had overtaken me there too, but I couldn't have avoided the crash with Kimi.
“Of course, any passing manoeuvre at Monaco is risky, but, at the end of the day, you have to leave each other a little room. As a result of our contact, my car's brake ducts were affected and my front brakes overheated – in fact I basically ran out of brakes. It's particularly frustrating to retire from a grand prix in which you've driven hard and fast, especially when you're so near to the finish. So, all in all, I'm extremely disappointed – for the team as much as for myself."
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh admitted it was a disappointing way for Perez's race to finish, but said there were plenty of positives for the youngster to take away from the weekend.
“Checo would have claimed a decent haul of world championship points but for a coming-together with Kimi that compromised the efficacy of his brake ducts and eventually caused him to lose his braking,” he said. “He's disappointed, understandably, but the up-side is that he was combative and entertaining on almost every lap – and, more important still, he was very quick.”
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