Perez insists his Monaco qualifying crash was not deliberate

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez has insisted he did not deliberately crash his car during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, after speculation over the incident was prompted by the events of the last round in Brazil.

His team mate Max Verstappen refused an instruction by Red Bull to let Perez overtake him on the final lap of last weekend’s race. Verstappen declined to explain the reasons for his failure to co-operate. Asked whether it related to the events of Monaco, Verstappen said: “You can decide that. I’m not going to say.”

Perez hit a barrier at the exit of Portier during his final run in Q3. The crash meant other drivers were unable to improve their times and ensured Perez qualified third, ahead of Verstappen, both behind their Ferrari rivals.

He insisted the crash had not been deliberate. “Everyone makes mistakes in Monaco,” said Perez. “Already I nearly crashed into turn one. Everyone makes mistakes in Monaco, or in general places in qualifying, and it’s not like it was done on purpose.”

He described how he was “chasing the lap time in Monaco” on his final effort. “You can review the whole lap. You can already see the line already in turn one, I’m just giving it everything.

“It’s the last run of Q3, and people just make mistakes, you know, and that’s really it when you are chasing the lap time. You can already see that from turn one I was playing with the throttle, because it was what I was losing the lap time, and you can see already into turn one that I nearly lost it already.”

Reports the team had investigated the crash internally, and that Perez had owned up to hitting the barrier on purpose, were false rumours, said Perez.

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“That rumour is wrong,” he said. “That’s just speculation from the media out there and just people creating rumours. We are all aware of what was going on within the team and we want to keep everything within the team.”

Report: Verstappen attacks “disgusting” reaction to Brazil team orders row
The suggestions he might have crashed on purpose are “just part of the sport on the speculation people like to make” said Perez. “To me, this happened so many races ago that it’s totally irrelevant.

“I’m thinking about this weekend. I’m thinking about making sure the team is in good spirits because we’ve had a tremendous season, it’s been a hell of a year for Red Bull. And I don’t want any of this to take any enjoyment for any of the guys in my team. I think Max and myself we have a very strong responsibility to keep this united team going forward.”

Asked whether Verstappen believed he had crashed deliberately in Monaco, Perez said: “We have discussed what happened in Sao Paulo internally, and we have agreed that in the benefit of the team, this should remain internal what we discussed, within the team.

“It’s best we don’t open any speculation and we are able to move on and we are able to be the team we used to be, united and strong. That’s the priority of the team. We want to put all of this behind us and just move forward.”

Red Bull issued a statement today acknowledging they made “mistakes” in how the they tried to enforce team orders in Brazil, having failed to raise the matter with their drivers beforehand. “We didn’t discuss any scenarios in that regard,” Perez admitted.

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Having been told with six laps to go that Verstappen would give back his position if he was unable to make any progress, Perez was surprised when he didn’t.

Transcript: “Don’t fight Max” – How Red Bull’s team radio row in Brazil unfolded
“It was just like the last hundred metres of the lap that I found out that he wasn’t going to give me back the position,” he said. “It obviously was a bad feeling, but I think I’m able to put all of this behind us and my priority is to have a good environment to work on and to be able to trust my team mates, to trust my team, and that’s my priority.”

Perez said on his radio after the race that Verstappen “showed who he really is” by refusing to let him past. Those comments were made in the heat of the moment, he said today.

“Obviously Formula 1 is a very emotional sport and there is no other sport where you can speak yourself live. It’s only in Formula 1 that this happened. So there’s a lot of emotions going on in a lot of things you say.

“I obviously regret a lot of things that I said after the race because I’m back with Max in the relationship that we used to have and we are both and the team and everyone is ready to move forwards.”

Verstappen said today he will help Perez secure second place in the drivers championship this weekend. “Yes, I’m pretty sure I can count on him and on my team,” said Perez.

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2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
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33 comments on “Perez insists his Monaco qualifying crash was not deliberate”

  1. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    17th November 2022, 14:49

    Poor Perez back in his place.
    Can’t feel too sorry for him, Verstappen is a significantly better driver that him and in many ways he’s lucky to have a seat as prestigious as the Red Bull anyway. It just feels a bit harsh that he has to submit so much, just feels unnecessary.

    1. Yeah, I mean, end of day the only thing that would’ve kept Perez ahead of Verstappen after he came all the way from the back, had a bad stop, and served a 5-second time-penalty would have been team orders.

      Despite of the dumb behaviour by Max on the radio afterwards, it doesn’t really change much about the fact that Perez should have never realistically been in this situation in the first place.

      1. Because of a inadequate final choice of tyres and a Safety Car. If not for those, he would likely be third and Verstappen, not even close to him.
        The race was only 4 days ago man, we all know how it was.

      2. Here what realistic people know about the facts:

        1) they will not make max apologize
        2) they will pat his back boost his ego
        3) if anything horner will apologize to max
        4) if max is not cooled down yet, they ll force perez to apologize to max in public.

        So far, first 3 happened. Last on is waiting to happen. It was Perez’s fault to help Max in the final race, also Perez’s fault to help his team mate when his team mate didn’t ask for it last year or this year. Perez should have known that Max is the King Julian in his team, no matter what he does, people will bow down and apologize to him and further boost his ego. For whatever reason, they made FIA to do the same for him all these years. So do not expect Max to do any bad things in the near future.

  2. He couldn’t be more right about his final flying lap.
    No one should have any reason to believe he’d crash on purpose, especially considering he guaranteed a Ferrari front row by doing so rather than pole position for himself or his team a front row.

    1. how dare you attempt to slap nuance and context on this?
      don’t you understand I need this to justify Max’s actions
      and that this is my only parachute before I face-plant into reality?!

      again, how very much dare you?!

    2. I was thinking its just as well Hamilton doesn’t hold a grudge, the way Verstappen does, otherwise, Hamilton might be thinking twice about the way his young padawan Russell beached his car, to red-flag the qualifications to the Brazilian sprints, and thereafter keep Hamilton firmly behind him for the weekend.

      Had it not been for that incident, there’s every reason to believe Hamilton would have been the better driver in that wet qualifiy conditons, and as result would have driven to success in the sprints, and as a consequence of all that, would have secured that dream win in Brazil.

      This is what you call the butterfly effect, which strangely no one at sky seems to have given any thought to. For now we’ll just have to keep a mental note of this event and watch for a pattern of similar desperate ploys in the coming months and years. Remember where you heard this first.

      1. I think that if Lewis had reason to believe that anyone had deliberately caused a flag to spoil his lap, then he’d say something – like that mess with Rosberg in Monaco 2014. After that, he’d just make the best of it. Like any of the top drivers (there may be at least one exception).
        But in Q3 everyone is at the limit, and mistakes happen, especially at Monaco where start position is critical, and as far as I could see at the time, that’s what happened to Sergio. Never made any sense to me that the crash was tactical, just trying to find time, and lost. Call it bad luck, trying too hard, misjudgement, he’d have been angry and disgusted with himself.
        Maybe one particular driver did take it as a personal attack, but that makes no sense to me.
        Liked the ‘padawan’ :)

    3. I think you’re just selective in your judgement, playing devil’s advocate. The driver in provisional P1 in Q3 can simply decide to push hard in the next lap, hard enough to know that he’ll end up crashing, knowing that such an event will spoil everyone else’s lap. “It wasn’t deliberate, but I made that possibility almost certain”.

  3. The FIA should definitely investigate if it was a deliberate cheat and act accordingly.
    Schumi was sent all the way to the back for a similar Monaco incident 2006…
    Checo went on full throttle much earlier that lap – that leads to an inevitable spin…

    1. Crashing to secure 3rd place? Isn’t that like, not ambitious at all?

    2. I have no way to account for the telemetry, but there’s no need to hit the throttle to crash out at Monaco, just steer 1cm too close to any barrier. There’s no run off. (repost comment)

      1. Max crashed during Monaco weekends far too many times to count. So he should be deemed the biggest cheat. But hey. All hail the King Julian

  4. Too late Perez, it stuck already.
    You’re a cheater!

    1. It only “stuck” in the minds of those who want something to justify Vestappen. Anyone else knows he wouldn’t have done it on purpose as there was no good reason to do so.

      1. Just joking, obviously.
        C’mon…

      2. Actually, throttle evidence from Checo’s car points 100% that direction…

        1. I have no way to account for the telemetry, but there’s no need to hit the throttle to crash out at Monaco, just steer 1cm too close to any barrier. There’s no run off.

  5. Amazing how RBR have turned a victorious season of historic domination into some messy middle school drama. I’m sorry for all the people in the team who don’t know nor care about the personal drama of the drivers.

    1. @dmw Genuine question: do you think it’s staged for the cameras? Or is it just the internal politics are really that bad? IMHO it looks like a very badly run organisation at this point. I hasten to say I’m would not be up to the job either, but I know bad management when I see it.

  6. I believe you Checo, you are no Horner.

  7. Here we see a difference between someone who is young and someone who is old. If this is the case Verstappen troubles the monaco situation in his head and Perez doesn’t.

  8. Can of worms.

  9. Perez: “We are all aware of what was going on within the team and we want to keep everything within the team.”
    So something was going on within the team and it’s better for them to keep it secret from anyone outside the team?
    I keep thinking this has to be nothing, even if Perez did spin in qualifying on purpose – it looks to me same level dubious as Rosberg’s Monaco qualifying loss of control – what really did he gain relative to Max? Virtually nothing, especially over a season. Hamilton-Rosberg was an intense rivalry, which is simply not the case of Verstappen-Perez. Why would Red Bull ‘investigate’ their own driver? At Verstappen’s request? It seems too trivial to cause huge team friction. Yet Verstappen hints that it’s a big enough issue for him to set down a red line about ever handing position to Perez. And keeps hinting that there’s more. While all Perez’s assistance last season seems to count for nothing. Just all very weird.

    1. I have an opinion
      18th November 2022, 0:20

      Let’s start some Perez / Kelly Piquet rumours.

      1. But with pictures, otherwise is worth nothing :)

      2. Yes, honestly at that point, since he says “something that happened earlier in the season” and perez denies it’s monaco, I guess even that’s more likely than that, even cause there was no way to know securing 3rd place in quali would bring you to victory, even if you have ferraris ahead!

      3. Almost every other driver has hit it. Why not Sergio too?

        I actually do think it has something to do with personal issues rather than Monaco. What? I cannot say. It’s odd Max’s mom went on IG to say that Sergio cheated on his wife in Monaco. Judging by the pictures, I think that seems likely to have happened.

        1. So max is upset that perez was not loyal to his wife. Hmm great logic. Is perez’s wife in any way or shape related to max’s family? Even If it a yes it would be even dumber to bring family issues to business.

    2. There was no assistance last season. Why does everyone go for that made up story? Abu was the first race in which finally Max didn’t have to battle all on his own. Perez until that point had zero added value to the Max campaign. I distinctly remember thinking ‘finally the guy does something for the team’ when he tried to slow Lewis during the final race. So, as valid as the criticism may be or not (since people shout once again without having the facts nor inside knowlegde, a common thing here in the comment section) the argument Perez has done so much is just not true.

      1. There’s a short clip on youtube from The Race about the times Perez helped Verstappen, called “6 times Sergio Perez HELPED Max Verstappen in F1 races”. And even if you feel Abu Dhabi was the only occurrence, it was quite a significant event wouldn’t you say? Even Verstappen himself was gushing with gratitude afterwards (“Checo is a legend”).

  10. Watch the video on Youtube, Carlos Sainz does the exact same thing, 5 seconds later.

  11. It was interesting to hear John Watson on R5LSX this morning talking about this and saying he feels the FIA should look closely at the telemetry and put this to bed one way or the other. However, I’d add that regardless of whether or not Perez crashed deliberately in Monaco, in no way does that excuse Verstappen’s refusal of team orders or the public putburst over the radio. They are two separate issues.

Comments are closed.