Pérez says F1 British GP was “just a mess overall” and now looks to regroup and “get out of this difficult period”

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool
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Recent weeks have seen Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez have a lot of rumours circulating around his F1 future. Therefore, with all of this pressure mounting, a smooth British Grand Prix weekend was vital. Instead after spinning out in Q1 and qualifying P19. Having chosen to give him new PU elements this then resulted in a pitlane start. With it all to do, a bold gamble for an early switch to intermediate tyres never paid off and left the Mexican racer describing his British Grand Prix as “just a mess”.

Pérez recently signed a two-year contract extension to stay at Red Bull until 2026. However, prior to Silverstone, the last five race weekends had seen Pérez score 15 points as opposed to a haul of 101 points for his teammate and current F1 Drivers’ Champion Max Verstappen.

Due to this, the pressure and rumours of Pérez potentially losing his seat was a hot topic in the Paddock, so Silverstone would have been a perfect time for the popular Mexican driver to get his season back on track.

Unfortunately for him, Pérez left Silverstone with 0 points, a P17 finishing position and 2 laps down on race winner Lewis Hamilton.

On the Friday of the British Grand Prix weekend, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner had told Sky Sports: “What we’ve constantly seen with him is this resilience to be able to bounce back. We’re hoping to see that very soon.” As previously reported, Horner also told media, “It made absolute sense to sign Checo at that point in time, but this is a business in which there are pressures to deliver.”

The 34-year-old admits that his British GP was “just a mess” after a gamble on an early switch to intermediate tyres didn’t pay off for the Red Bull Racing driver.

Pérez was not the only driver to make a bold decision to take the intermediate tyre early on the race as Zhou Guanyu, Esteban Ocon and Charles Leclerc all made a similar strategy call.

Unfortunately, the same fate befell them as Pérez due to the fact that the first rain shower was a short one and the Northamptonshire circuit dried quickly. As a result of this, the 6-time race winner lost up to 12 seconds a lap. Then to add insult to injury, when the second rain shower arrived – and a stronger one at that – Pérez had worn through his tyres and so had to stop again for the new intermediate compound.  

“We gambled a bit too early and we were out probably for seven laps, completely cooked the intermediate and then when the rain came there was no tyre left and it was just a mess overall,” Pérez explained post-race. “Then we boxed again, we were in the middle of the leaders, very difficult to make any progress and yeah, just not an easy afternoon.”

Pérez went on to explain how the calls by his team were a couple of laps too late but admits that due to his starting position they had to take this risk.

“I guess at the same time we had to gamble from the position we were, probably we were looking for a few points or big points, so we gambled it, but there was no luck today at all and it’s good that there is a bit of a break so that we can step back a bit and regroup as a team.” said Perez.

Obviously, had Pérez delivered in qualifying the previous day then such a risk would not have been necessary. Certainly, the form he showed on Friday gave every expectation for him to have a strong weekend when he finished P3 in FP2, as revealed in the 34-year-old’s post-race remarks.

“I think looking back at it, we had the strongest Friday in a while, so I think there’s some light out of the tunnel. We have to — at the same time it’s a very disappointed race — but I’m also aware of how much we can consider this race. Other than that, just making sure that we are in a ballpark with the balance, try to make the progression we need for Friday and then things will be a lot better.”

It was then put to Pérez, that having had such a challenging triple header, is it probably OK for him to now have a break to regroup.

“Yeah, definitely.” The under-fire Mexican driver admitted. “I think it’s a good time to have a bit of a break and get back for our form hopefully for Hungary and Belgium, you know, two very important weekends.

When F1 returns in Hungary, Pérez will be starting the weekend having scored just a P7 and a brace of P8s in Grands Prix proper over the last six race weekends. He clearly knows the spotlight is on him. When asked as to how he ignores all the noise about his future, his response indicated that of a man aware that nothing is certain in his F1 future.

“I know where I am in terms of contract and that sort of thing, but I cannot let it be a distraction, I need to focus on the next two [race] weekends, which are the priority, and together with the team, as a team, to get out of this difficult period.”