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.

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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.”

Jolyon Palmer's Analysis: Could Perez have won in Spain?

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.”

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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.”


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