'Perez and I screwed each other' says Ricciardo after both exit in Q1
Qualifying in Hungary left two drivers irate after they were eliminated in Q1: Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, who were caught up in traffic at the Hungaroring. Ricciardo said they “screwed each other”; Perez called the Australian’s behaviour “disrespectful”.
The two drivers were making a beeline for the start/finish line as the chequered flag fell on Q1, and as Perez came round the final corner Ricciardo attempted to move around the outside. The Australian was forced to back off and missed his chance to start a new lap, while Perez's chance to progress from Q1 was also hindered.
Ricciardo, who starts 18th next to a penalised Antonio Giovinazzi, explained, “The last run, that’s when you’ve got to do it, and it was just a bit of a... it was a mess, basically, opening the lap.”
One of the shortest circuits on the calendar, the Hungaroring is a tight track where traffic is more of an issue than normal. An issue that Renault should have foreseen, as Ricciardo went on to say.
“Well, we put ourselves in traffic, and at that point I felt like we could have known what was going to happen better, coming up to the last corner. If I needed to create space earlier, so I wasn't creating space and in the last corner everyone's backed up so what do you do?
“Do you try and pass them and keep your tyres up to temperature there or do you hang back and start the lap with cold tyres?
“So I tried to go and obviously Perez and the others weren't going to have that so I felt like Perez and I just screwed each other. Just too late trying to make something happen and the lap was compromised.
“Tomorrow's another day we'll see what happens but right now, it's certainly the most upset I've been in a while,” he concluded.
Perez wasn’t just upset but furious as he encountered Ricciardo on track, and was scathing of his rival's on-track behaviour.
He called it a “difficult day” as he unpacked the situation. “I I think we could have got through to Q2 to be honest. It would have needed a good lap, but we didn’t get it. My final run was badly compromised when all the cars were trying to find space in the final corner.
“That’s where Ricciardo tried to do something crazy, overtaking me in the last corner. He screwed up his lap and my lap too because I ended up too close to [McLaren’s Lando] Norris and Daniel was close behind me. We all know traffic is tricky in Q1.
For me, it was quite disrespectful. Ricciardo's an experienced driver and I didn't expect that from him.
“We spoke about it in the Drivers' Briefing and the importance of being respectful of each other. For me, it was quite disrespectful. He's an experienced driver and I didn't expect that from him.
“We know this track isn't the best for us anyway, but now we're really in a tough place for tomorrow. It’s been a bad day for us, so let's hope it gets better in the race.”
Perez will start the race 16th, behind Williams’ George Russell, while team mate Lance Stroll shares the back row with Robert Kubica.