Perez unhappy with handling of fastest lap: "I got different information"

Sergio Perez wants Red Bull to “review” how they handled the battle for the fastest lap between him and teammate Max Verstappen at the end of F1’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
(L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing and race winner Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing in the the post race FIA
(L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing and race winner Sergio…

Heading into the final 10 laps of the race, Perez had a comfortable five-second lead over Verstappen.

Perez looked set to take the championship lead for the first time in his F1 career as he had the fastest lap rather than Verstappen.

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However, in the closing laps, wanting that extra point, Verstappen asked Red Bull: “What’s the fastest lap time?”

His race engineer replied: “We are not concerned about that, Max”

Verstappen responded: “Yeah, but I am!”

The two-time world champion waited until the final lap to steal it off his teammate, who thought he had it in the bag.

After the race, Perez revealed that he was told to “keep a certain pace” rather than have another shot at going for the fastest lap.

“I asked two laps from the end what they were telling us,” he said. “They told me to keep a certain pace and they told me I had the fastest lap and to keep a certain pace.

“So I thought that communication was the same to Max. It’s something we need to review because I got certainly different information and I just couldn’t push there in the end.”

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah, Saudi
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Perez was vocal over team radio in the closing laps as he feared reliability concerns following Verstappen’s driveshaft issue in qualifying.

“Obviously they have more information than us,” Perez added. “I think the team did a fantastic job on letting us race. I just felt like there was a point where, I don’t know, for the last 10 laps or so that we had very similar pace, within a tenth faster or slower, and I just felt like the gap would have been probably a little bit less or a little more, but it wouldn’t have changed anything.

“I was just thinking about the car and just making sure. I was having some strange vibrations and obviously what happened to Max was on the back of my mind today and I’m sure it was on the back of the mind of the team as well. 

“So it was just a matter of making sure both cars finished two to maximise points.”

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