Racing Point defends pit call that cost Perez Imola F1 podium

Racing Point Formula 1 team technical director Andrew Green insists that the decision to pit Sergio Perez late in the Emilia Romagna GP was the right one at the time.

Racing Point defends pit call that cost Perez Imola F1 podium

The late stop cost Perez a potential third place and left him rueing a “painful” outcome that saw him eventually cross the line in sixth.

From 11th on the grid Perez had used good tyre management and a long opening stint on mediums to get up to fourth, before switching to the hard tyres for the run to the flag.

When Max Verstappen’s retirement triggered a late safety car, the team was concerned that Perez would have trouble getting heat onto his hards at the restart – due to the very characteristics that had served him so well in the first part of the race. He was thus called in for a set of new softs.

However the three drivers immediately behind him, Daniel Ricciardo, Charles Leclerc and Alex Albon, all jumped him in the queue by staying out, leaving him in sixth for the resumption.

When the green flag flew, Perez lost a further place to Daniil Kvyat, who was also on fresh tyres. He then managed to pass Albon, but in the remaining laps he was not able to do anything about Leclerc up ahead, and thus had to settle for sixth.

Green said the way the car protected its tyres triggered the concerns about the restart.

“The race was going our way completely,” said Green. “Up until the safety car Checo manoeuvred himself, with great pace, up to fourth.

“He overtook the pack by going longer on the medium tyres, he drove really well, the car was really strong, we were very happy with where it was going.

“And the worst possible scenario was a safety car. And that was not really how we were geared up, unfortunately. It was always going to be a difficult decision, that one.

“We were on the hard tyres, the car had been set up, quite specifically, for the long runs, and for the race we were incredibly nervous about having to restart the hard tyres behind the safety car. And I think we would have struggled.

“So the safest thing to do and we thought that the most logical thing to do was to swap him for a set of the new softer tyres, so that we didn't have to worry about that. We thought other people might do the same, but a lot depends on how they were set up for the race.

“And I think it probably just showed where our race pace was, because we'd set the car up to look after the tyres and be kind and not overheat them. So we were always going to struggle behind the safety car in that situation.”

Read Also:

Green said the situation was made worse for Perez when George Russell crashed behind the safety car, extending the yellow period for a few more laps, and taking the edge off his new tyres.

“And then we've got the other thing with a second incident behind the safety car, we couldn't have predicted that one.

“So the number of laps remaining to overtake was shortened again, by a considerable margin. So I think that worked against us.

“Hindsight, we would have made a different decision. But I think at the time with the information we had that's the decision we came to.”

shares
comments

Related video

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Driver ratings

Previous article

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Driver ratings

Next article

Why Italy's minnow F1 team could become its new maestro

Why Italy's minnow F1 team could become its new maestro
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021