Perez disappointed to end final Racing Point race in retirement, but seeing the positives on 2020
After his remarkable victory in Sakhir last weekend, Sergio Perez was desperate to sign off his Racing Point career (and, for the time being at least, his F1 career) with another big result in Abu Dhabi, even after being handed a back-row start for power unit changes. But alas, the Mexican was denied a fairy-tale ending with the team with which he’s spent 135 races, with his car giving up the ghost on Lap 10.
Starting on the hard compound tyres, Perez had made excellent progress up the order, having moved up to P14 when his car suddenly lost power in Sector 3, with the message ‘P Oil Kill’ showing on his dashboard.
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Clearly distraught, Perez threw his arms aloft in anger as he climbed from the car, before making his way back to the paddock to face the media for the final time this year.
The Mexican explained what had happened and how disappointed he was to retire, especially with rivals McLaren then tying up the hotly contested P3 in the constructors’ standings, at the expense of Racing Point.
“[It was] the MGU-K I think, the same as Bahrain. A bit of a shame what happened really. I’m very sad that we lost third in the constructors. McLaren did a tremendous job with the car that they had, and both drivers always in the points strongly. They’ve done a great job, so well done on that.”
Despite his sadness, Perez said he could look back on the 2020 season as a positive one.
“From my side I’m just extremely happy with my season, with what I have achieved – having covid, missing two races, the massive reliability issues I’ve had… I can just be extremely happy and proud of the season I’ve had.
“I couldn’t do anything differently in the past races. It was always out of my hands. So I’m just extremely pleased with how things went and I’m just looking forward to whatever happens next in my career. I don’t know what it might be, but I’m just looking forward to that.”
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Perez of course is without a deal for 2020 as it stands. So when might we have some news on what’s next?
“I’ve waited all year long [for news], so now the season is over I want to take some time off. We will know in the next coming weeks what happens. I’m at peace with myself and very happy with the season I’ve had. When you maximise all your opportunities then you can be very happy going home.”
Perez ends the season fourth in the drivers’ standings – his best ever finish in 10 years in F1.