Perez calls for Red Bull review over fastest lap issue
By Ian Parkes
Monday 20th March, 2023 - 6:15pm
Sergio Perez has called for an internal Red Bull review after missing out on the fastest-lap point at the end of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.
Perez comfortably won the fifth race of his F1 career, whilst Verstappen charged through to second from 15th on the grid after his RB19 suffered a driveshaft failure during qualifying on Saturday.
Up until the final lap of the event at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Perez had also set the fastest lap and was poised to take up the lead in the championship courtesy of that crucial point.
Ahead of the closing lap, however, Verstappen asked if he could push to take the point, and he was given the all-clear to do so. Perez has suggested that he was told to maintain his pace.
“With a few laps to go, I asked what the fastest lap was,” said Verstappen.
“We were, first of all, free to race and, of course, we had a target lap time to the end.
“It’s a point on the line, and it was also the same in Bahrain. It got asked.
“So especially when it’s just between the two cars, I think it’s quite normal you ask for what the fastest lap is.”
Perez, however, was given a different instruction.
After hearing Verstappen’s version of events, the Mexican driver is set to seek answers as to why the Dutchman again appeared to be favoured.
“I asked two laps from the end, while they were telling us… where they told me to keep a certain pace,” said Perez.
“They told me I had the fastest lap and to keep the pace, a certain pace.
“So I thought the communication was the same to Max or something.
“We need to review because I certainly got different information and I just couldn’t push it there.”
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