Perez: ‘Not much risk worth taking’ in F1 sprint races

Sergio Perez is unchanged in his opposition to Formula 1 sprint races after the final trial of the format in 2021 at Interlagos, saying there’s "not a lot of action".

Perez: ‘Not much risk worth taking’ in F1 sprint races

Red Bull driver Perez finished fourth in the 24-lap sprint race ahead of Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, narrowly losing out to Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr in the fight for third place.

Perez was passed off the line by Sainz, who started on soft tyres. Despite closing on the Spaniard in the final stages as his mediums showed better pace, Perez was unable to get ahead.

The third and final sprint of the season offered the most on-track action yet, highlighted by Lewis Hamilton, who charged from 20th on the grid to finish fifth.

But having previously expressed his scepticism about the format at Silverstone and Monza, Perez said he was unchanged in his view on F1 sprint races. 

“I don’t think they’re great fun,” Perez said.

“I think they’re mainly done for the fans, so if they enjoy them, then good. But I don’t particularly enjoy them.

“I just feel there is not a lot of action. There is not a lot of overtaking, or it doesn’t change as much, the things going into tomorrow’s race, which is the main one.

“You cannot take too many risks because you can be heavily affected trying to pass people. It’s not like the actual race.

"You hardly gain anything, but you can lose a lot.”

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Perez felt there were “more risks I could have taken” when he was chasing Sainz for third place, having lurked close behind the Ferrari on a number of occasions.

It means Perez will start Sunday’s race from fourth, two places behind team-mate Max Verstappen, as Red Bull looks to reclaim the lead of the constructors’ championship. It sits two points behind Mercedes following Valtteri Bottas’s sprint race win.

“Obviously I can be a bit more aggressive, [take] more risk,” Perez said. “I really hope I can overtake Carlos and go with the leaders.”

Hamilton fought back to fifth place after being excluded from qualifying over a technical infringement with the DRS on his Mercedes car, crossing the line just 1.1 seconds behind Perez.

“I was pretty surprised to see the progress he made, he had tremendous pace,” Perez said.

“Lewis has a tremendous straight line speed. I’ve seen some of the moves he’s done, like the one on [Lando] Norris, it’s really impressive to see how far behind he is.”

Perez tipped Hamilton to become a threat in the grand prix on Sunday as well despite facing a five-place grid penalty that means he will start 10th.

“I think he will come through, sooner or later,” Perez said.

“He will be in the mix for tomorrow’s race.”

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Brazilian Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more
Previous article

F1 Brazilian Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more

Next article

Bottas: F1 Sprint shows Mercedes can have "great result" despite setbacks

Bottas: F1 Sprint shows Mercedes can have "great result" despite setbacks
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022