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Formula 1 Belgian GP

Perez: Hamilton “in a bit of a hurry” in Spa F1 sprint clash

Sergio Perez says that Lewis Hamilton was “in a bit of a hurry” when the pair clashed during Saturday’s wet Formula 1 sprint event at Spa.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Hamilton tried to pass the Mexican heading into Stavelot, and they made side-to-side contact, with the left front wheel of the Mercedes hitting the Red Bull’s sidepod.

The Mexican was subsequently forced to retire from the race due to bodywork and floor damage, while Hamilton received a 5-second penalty that dropped him from fourth to seventh in the final classification.

“It was massive damage from the contact from Lewis,” said Perez when asked by Autosport about his retirement. 

“He just took the whole right-hand side of the car. He damaged the floor and the sidepod, so that was game over. We lost too much grip with it.

“I think he was in a bit of a hurry. Everyone was in a hurry to recover today. It's a very short race. So you have to take that level of risk, but not nice to get my race ruined by him.

“Basically he just I think ran out of grip and could not stop his car and just went into the side of me and damaged my floor. And that was very unfortunate."

Perez was adamant that he was on for a good result having started the sprint in eighth. He was set to pass Pierre Gasly for third.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“It was looking great," he said. "The team did a great strategy to recover. We were about to get Gasly just before this safety car came out. So yeah, it was looking great. But unfortunately, it was just all too late.”

Perez acknowledged that conditions were tricky when the sprint was finally started after several laps behind the safety car: “I was P8 and I couldn't see anything. I cannot imagine the people behind me. So I think the first laps were very tricky with visibility. But other than that, it was fine.”

From his third starting spot, Perez wants a good result in Sunday’s main event heading into the summer break.

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“Yeah, definitely," he said. "I want a strong result to come tomorrow and that will be the main target. 

"Tomorrow we will know about the car really, where we really are. So looking forward to that, and hopefully, we can recover the points we lost today.”

 

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