Haas team principal Guenther Steiner hinted that the “pressure” which Sergio Perez is facing at Red Bull led to his collision with Kevin Magnussen at Suzuka.
Steiner was speaking following the Japanese Grand Prix and a scruffy couple of races for Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in particular when it comes to on-track incidents.
Perez had collided with Williams’ Alex Albon during the Singapore Grand Prix, Albon narrowly avoiding a repeat incident in Japan with the driver who had cost him a potential Singapore GP points finish. Magnussen was not so lucky.
Is Red Bull pressure getting to Sergio Perez?
Albon watched on as Perez sent Haas’ Magnussen into a spin on Lap 13 of the Japanese Grand Prix, for which he received a five-second penalty, later serving that by un-retiring from the race and returning to the garage afterwards, to avoid the penalty carrying over to the next round.
For Magnussen his race was also ruined by the shunt as he ultimately crossed the line P15 and last of the classified runners.
Steiner then, understandably, was far from pleased with Perez, who with a P8 and now DNF to show for his last two rounds as his Red Bull woes seemingly return, is struggling to contend with the pressure, in Steiner’s opinion.
Before that Magnussen shunt, Perez had already served a five-second penalty for overtaking behind the Safety Car when coming in to the pit lane.
“I think obviously Checo can feel the pressure,” Steiner told Motorsport.com.
“You know which pressure he feels. And these things happen.
“He already had a penalty before he hit us, I don’t know exactly what he did under the yellow, but he did break the rules.
“And obviously some more pressure and then these things happen. It’s five seconds, but there’s no consequence because he retired afterwards. I’m never happy that somebody has to retire, but he just destroyed our race, so I’m not happy about that as well.”
Magnussen summed up Perez’s overtake attempt as a “sh*tty” one, a move which worked for neither driver.
“I just got spun around there by Perez, and it ruined our race,” said Magnussen.
“We had to pit, and that was too early for the two-stop strategy that we had, and the tyre degradation that we had. It was just too early to pit then. But we had to.
“I think he’s penalising himself, there’s a natural penalty for him doing that.
“It doesn’t look good for him, but it is what it is. We’re racing. He was in a shitty position, and he made a shitty move.”
Despite Perez providing zero points at Suzuka, victory for Max Verstappen still proved to be enough for Red Bull to retain the Constructors’ Championship for F1 2023.