Red Bull: Perez not used to disturb Hamilton at Portimao

Red Bull insists its decision to extend Sergio Perez's tyre stint in Formula 1's Portuguese Grand Prix was not because it wanted him to disturb race winner Lewis Hamilton.

Listen to this article

Perez was running fourth in the early stages of the Portimao race but did not follow the same strategy as the three cars ahead of him when it came to the timing of his stop.

While teammate Max Verstappen was pitted on lap 35 in a bid to try to jump the Mercedes duo he was fighting, Perez was kept out much longer in the lead of the race.

Despite being much slower than the cars on fresh rubber, he stayed out until lap 51 – which was straight after Hamilton had overtaken him. But while it appeared that one of the main motivations for keeping Perez out would have been to potentially hinder Hamilton in his battle with Verstappen, Red Bull says its primary focus was actually on unleashing Perez to try to get fastest lap.

Team boss Christian Horner explained: "It was more focused on wanting to get to the soft tyre to have a crack at that point for the fastest lap.

"That's why we went that long. The soft tyre didn't have a lot of range, and of course if you abuse it over a single lap it makes it a little bit more marginal.

"Sergio was in a sort of solid fourth, without the opportunity to catch the cars in front and clear the cars behind. So we thought: 'okay let's run the fuel down, get to a point where it is sensible to the finish and have a crack at the fastest lap.'"

Read Also:

Perez was briefly able to grab the fastest lap, but the subsequent drop off in pace meant he fell away from third placed Valtteri Bottas, who was then able to pit in the closing stages to go for fastest lap himself.

The timing of Bottas' stop gave Red Bull a window to then pit Verstappen, who did manage to set the fastest lap before the time was deleted for him breaching track limits.

Horner added: "Sergio was the first one to claim it, but Valtteri was able to just squeak a pit window to have a crack at it. So we thought: okay, we'll respond with Max, and give it a go with Max.

"The guys knocked in a 1.9 second pitstop and, but for track limits that we didn't see anybody else have the penalty that Max did, he would have achieved that."

Perez's fourth place was the best result he had had for Red Bull, but he was still not able to shadow Verstappen during the race itself.

Horner said he was encouraged by the continued progress that Perez was making, though, and he was sure that better form was just around the corner.

"I think he's getting there," he said. "Here [in Portugal] has been really difficult because of the wind and so on, but you can see the races are coming together for him when he is in clean air.

"Don't forget he managed to pass [Lando] Norris, who had passed him fully off the track. Again, another track limits inconsistency.

"But once he was in clean air, he was doing the same laptime as the leaders at certain points, and was setting the fastest lap. So I think it's really coming together for him. I'm happy with the progress he's making. With more time and experience, everything will just come together for him."

shares
comments

Related video

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix
Previous article

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Next article

10 things we learned from F1's 2021 Portuguese GP

10 things we learned from F1's 2021 Portuguese GP
How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap Prime

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap

OPINION: On Wednesday, the FIA will issue F1 teams with compliance certificates if they stuck to the 2021 budget cap. But amid rumours of overspending, the governing body must set a critical precedent. It needs to carefully pick between revisiting the bitterness of Abu Dhabi, a contradictory punishment and ensuring parity for the rest of the ground-effect era

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in Singapore Prime

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in Singapore

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Prime

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Prime

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Prime

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Prime

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains Ben Edwards, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car.

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Prime

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022