The Mexican recovered strongly from a below-par qualifying in the race and appeared to be on course for what would have been only his third podium for Red Bull this season until a late deluge scuppered his top-three chances.

Perez opted to gamble by staying out on slicks as the rain fell harder in the last few laps and ultimately plummeted to P9 at the chequered flag after other drivers - including teammate Max Verstappen - made an earlier stop for intermediates.

“Yes it’s obviously very disappointing. I think we were extremely unlucky,” Perez said.

“Could have gone either way really, you know. if it rained a little bit less, then the people on the inters would have died.

“If it rained a bit more, it obviously favoured them. I think at the point I was on the lap, it was a little bit too late to know, you know – the amount of rain we were going to have as well – so we were already on the podium, so it was a tricky decision to make.”

Perez had bounced back from a very slow pitstop in which he lost almost nine seconds while stationary in the box.


“We just have to see what went wrong, the boys have been doing really quick pitstops, so I think we just have to see what’s going on there and hopefully we are able to fix it going forwards,” he said.

“It’s a bit disappointing for myself but, yes, we just look forward onto the next one because we’ve shown pretty good pace this weekend.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner confirmed the issue was not related to the FIA’s new technical directive that was introduced at last month’s Belgian Grand Prix.

“We had a very slight delay on the wheel off and then he spun up the rear wheel which took more time to re-engage the wheel,” Horner explained.

“So that was frustrating - otherwise he would have been a clear, clear third. He had got himself back into that position before the rain came.

“It wasn’t a TD issue, it was as I said unfortunately the cycle of the wheel coming off and then the clutch was released when he was on the stand and that just compounded the problem.

“That’s what cost Sergio time today.”