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Perez explains "pushing for nothing" Saudi F1 radio call

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix winner Sergio Perez praised Red Bull's decision to allow racing between him and Formula 1 team-mate Max Verstappen, but felt both could have lowered their pace.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

In the final quarter of the race, Verstappen began to report vibrations around the driveshaft with concerning noises at high speed, fearing a repeat of his qualifying failure.

Perez also reported that his brake pedal was beginning to go "long", but both drivers were informed that none of the data on the pitwall was of any immediate concern to the engineers.

Verstappen was continuing to try and cut the gap to Perez, having consistently chipped about a tenth of a second out of his team-mate's advantage per lap.

But Perez was responding with quick laps in turn, and took to the radio to tell his team that he felt "we are pushing without a reason" and "we don't need this".

Asked by Autosport if he was angling for the team to intervene with team orders, Perez responded in the opposite and stated his happiness to race with Verstappen - and was actually more concerned with the reliability scares.

"Obviously they have more information than us, and I think the team did a fantastic job on letting us race," Perez said.

"I just felt like there was a point where, for the last 10 laps or so, that we had very similar pace within a 10, faster or slower.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, the Red Bull trophy delegate, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, provisionally 3rd position, on the podium

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, the Red Bull trophy delegate, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, provisionally 3rd position, on the podium

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"And I just felt like the gap [if both continued to push] would have been probably a little bit less or a little bit more, but it wouldn't have changed anything.

"I was just thinking about the car; I was having some strange vibrations and obviously what happened to Max [in qualifying] was on the back of my mind today.

"I'm sure it was on the back of the mind of the team as well. So it was just a matter of making sure both cars finished to get maximum points."

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Verstappen, having had to perform a recovery drive from 15th on the grid after his qualifying setback, explained that he "didn't mind" having to race his way through the field but was nonetheless unhappy with finishing second.

He called upon the team to assess the reliability further, particularly if both cars are in the title hunt by the season's end.

"We need to make sure we are reliable without any issues. After three positive practice sessions where then of course I had an issue in qualifying, I recovered second, which is good.

"In general, the whole feeling in the team is that everyone is happy, but personally I'm not happy because I'm not here to be second, especially when you are working very hard also back at the factory to make sure that you arrive here in a good state and making sure that everything is spot on.

"Then you have to do a recovery race which I like, I mean, I don't mind doing it, but it's when you're fighting for a championship and when it looks like it's just between two cars, we have to make sure that also the two cars are reliable."

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