FormulaNerds Cut To The Race Podcast

Red Bull teammates Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez nearly wiped each other out in Saturday's Sprint Race (Feature Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Getty Images)
Red Bull teammates Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez nearly wiped each other out in Saturday's Sprint Race (Feature Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Getty Images)

Red Bull drivers give conflicting accounts of first lap sprint melee

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez foight hard on first lap of Austrian Sprint Race, with near catastrophic results

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

Following a spirited start to the sprint race in Austria, Red Bull teammates Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez gave conflicting versions of their near miss on the first lap. 

Red Bull teammates Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez battle into turn one during Saturday's Sprint Race (Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool, Getty Images)
Red Bull teammates Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez battle into turn one during Saturday’s Sprint Race (Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool, Getty Images)

After a difficult Friday, Sergio Perez had a shot at redemption during the Sprint Race. Qualifying on the front row alongside his teammate, Perez launched an all-out attack to steal P1 from Verstappen.

After taking the lead into the first corner, Perez found himself under attack. Verstappen slipstreamed the sister Red Bull in an attempt to retake P1. Approaching turn 3, Perez braked late. Running wide, Verstappen was already attempting a move. Perez took to the escape road, letting his teammate move into the lead.

Fighting back, Perez ran wide again at the downhill turn four. This dropped him to P3 behind the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg. Eventually passing the Haas, Perez saw that his teammate had long gone.

What did the drivers say?

Speaking to formula1.com after the race Verstappen confessed he and Perez were close to wiping each other out. The Dutchman believed he had been forced wide by his teammate:

“It was a little bit of a hairy moment out of Turn 1. Of course when you get forced onto the grass it’s very slippery, but we managed to keep the car under control and from there onwards we just did our race.”

The start was not ideal, a bit of wheelspin, but after that, after Lap 1, once we got back in the lead, it was good.

After passing his teammate, the Dutchman admitted he was managing pace and tyres for the remainder of the race: “We were just managing the tyres, knowing that if it wasn’t going to rain anymore, then you know 24 laps on an intermediate is quite a lot, but they were hanging in there.

“I think, of course, the last five laps the slicks were quite a bit faster, but I think for us, so far in the lead, it didn’t make sense to pit. We just hung in there with the inters which worked well.”

Perez meanwhile stated that he did not see Verstappen at turn two when he ran wide. This a conflicting account compared to his teammate. Admitting he was compromised into turn one, he could do nothing to stop his teammate from re-passing: “I think Max was angry that I went into Turn 2, but I didn’t see him there. I just had a very bad Turn 1, so I tried to protect, but once I realised that he was there, I opened up the door and gave the place back into Turn 2.

“It’s all fine, we just spoke about it, because the visibility… Although we were [running] one and two, it was very bad, the visibility out there.”

He also admitted to pacing himself once passed Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas, to ensure he finished the sprint race: “I think once I got Nico it was all about managing the tyre to make sure that we made it to the end, because otherwise it would have been really easy to really miss out, especially with people boxing onto the slicks. Once I went by Nico, it was just bringing it home.”

Feature Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Getty Images

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Back to the top