Perez says he and Red Bull have cleared the air over Barcelona team orders debate
“Unfair” was how Sergio Perez labelled the team orders he received mid-race during the Spanish Grand Prix after being asked to let team mate Max Verstappen by. But ahead of the on-track action at Monaco, Perez said that the matter he’d been resolved – and that he was in no doubt that he would have a shot at victories in the future.
Perez was initially put on a two-stop strategy in Barcelona as reigning champion Verstappen opted for three. But with Perez asked to give up position to Verstappen at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on race day, leaving Verstappen to lead Perez home for a Red Bull one-two, the Mexican said after the race that he was looking for answers as to why team orders had been implemented.
But speaking on Friday in Monaco, Perez said he’d got those answers.
“We spoke after the race,” said Perez. “I felt that during the race, we could have given a better shot at the two-stop strategy to see if it could work or not, which the team took on board. At the end of the day, it was clear that the three-stop was the way to go.
“Obviously, when you’re in the car, you have certain information, and the team have a wider picture,” he added. “But it was clear that the three-stop was the way forward. It was better to go that way.
“It's all clear, and we all agree that we could have done a better job in that stint to give a better shot to both strategies to see which one worked.”
Asked, meanwhile, if he’d been assured by Red Bull that he’d be allowed to fight for wins – or even put together a potential title tilt – going forward, the Mexican replied: “It's very clear, they didn't need to say it but it’s clear. I think on my side of the garage, it's clear, inside the team [too], otherwise I wouldn’t be here, so it’s fairly clear.
“It's a great atmosphere at Red Bull,” he added. “We have great momentum so at the end of the day, it was a great team result, and they made it clear that I have the full support of the team to see me winning.”
Could that happen as early as this weekend in Monaco, meanwhile? Perez was hedging his bets, as he pointed to Ferrari’s low-speed prowess this year.
“We'll see, but we believe Ferrari are going to be particularly strong in this place,” said Perez. “They're very strong in the low-speed, the ride over the kerbs is very good, so they were already [strong] last year and they didn't have a good car, so I expect them to be very competitive here. But we'll see. I think after today, we'll have a bit more of an idea if we are able to challenge them tomorrow.”