Racing Point defends pitstop call that cost Perez third place at Imola

Racing Point technical director Andrew Green insists the decision to pit Sergio Perez late in the Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the right one at the time

Racing Point defends pitstop call that cost Perez third place at Imola

The late stop cost Perez a potential third place and left him rueing a "painful" outcome that saw him eventually cross the line in sixth.

From 11th on the grid Perez had used good tyre management and a long opening stint on mediums to get up to fourth, before switching to the hard tyres for the run to the flag.

When Max Verstappen's retirement triggered a late safety car the team had been concerned that Perez would have trouble getting heat onto his hards at the restart - due to the very characteristics that had served him so well in the first part of the race - so called him in for a set of new softs.

However the three drivers immediately behind him, Daniel Ricciardo, Charles Leclerc and Alex Albon, all jumped him in the queue by staying out, leaving him in sixth for the resumption.

When the green flew Perez lost a further place to Daniil Kvyat, who was also on fresh tyres. He then managed to pass Albon, but in the remaining laps he was not able to do anything about Leclerc up ahead, and had to settle for sixth.

Green said the way the car protected its tyres triggered the concerns about the restart.

"The race was going our way completely," said Green. "Up until the safety car Checo manoeuvred himself, with great pace, up to fourth.

"He overtook the pack by going longer on the medium tyres, he drove really well, the car was really strong, we were very happy with where it was going.

"And the worst possible scenario was a safety car. And that was not really how we were geared up, unfortunately. It was always going to be a difficult decision, that one.

"We were on the hard tyres, the car had been set up, quite specifically, for the long runs, and for the race we were incredibly nervous about having to restart the hard tyres behind the safety car. And I think we would have struggled.

"So the safest thing to do, and we thought that the most logical thing to do, was to swap him for a set of the new softer tyres, so that we didn't have to worry about that. We thought other people might do the same, but a lot depends on how they were set up for the race.

"And I think it probably just showed where our race pace was, because we'd set the car up to look after the tyres and be kind and not overheat them. So we were always going to struggle behind the safety car in that situation."

Green said the situation was made worse for Perez when George Russell crashed behind the safety car, extending the delay to the restart for a few more laps, and taking the edge off his new tyres.

"And then we've got the other thing with a second incident behind the safety car, we couldn't have predicted that one," he said.

"So the number of laps remaining to overtake was shortened again, by a considerable margin. So I think that worked against us.

"In hindsight, we would have made a different decision. But I think at the time with the information we had that's the decision we came to."

shares
comments
Russell: Imola F1 safety car crash the biggest mistake of my career
Previous article

Russell: Imola F1 safety car crash the biggest mistake of my career

Next article

Giovinazzi watched past Imola starts to aid his early Emilia Romagna GP charge

Giovinazzi watched past Imola starts to aid his early Emilia Romagna GP charge
Load comments
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021