Hamilton was ‘from another planet’, laments Perez

Date published: November 15 2021 - Michelle Foster

Lewis Hamilton racing against Sergio Perez. Brazil November 2021

Sergio Perez “couldn’t do anything” to keep Lewis Hamilton behind him at the Interlagos circuit, the Mercedes driver “from another planet” in Sunday’s race.

Perez made a good start to Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix, passing Valtteri Bottas to run P2 behind his team-mate Max Verstappen.

However, it wasn’t long before Hamilton, having started P10 and with a brand new ICE powering his Mercedes, closed in on Perez.

The Red Bull driver asked his team to “get Max to give me DRS” but that would have meant Verstappen would have to slow down, not an option for the Dutchman.

Hamilton made a move on Perez at Turn 1, Perez regained the position around the outside of Turn 4, and then Hamilton made it stick at Turn 1 on the next lap.

“He seemed like he was from another planet today,” Perez lamented to Ziggo Sport after the race.

“I tried my best, but I couldn’t do anything.”

Perez also lost out to Bottas, although that was more a case of bad luck for the Mexican driver with a fortuitous Virtual Safety Car working in Bottas’ favour.

Perez was ahead of the Finnish racer but, when Bottas had the opportunity to pit under the VSC, he took third off the Red Bull driver.

“With Bottas, I just had a huge amount of bad luck,” Perez said.

He continued: “He was extremely lucky with that pit stop during the Virtual Safety Car. It gave him five seconds on us.

“It’s a shame we didn’t make the podium.”

Unable to chase down Bottas, Red Bull pitted Perez for a set of soft tyres late in the race, the driver scoring a fastest lap point and, more importantly, taking it away from Hamilton.

“With the fastest lap we still got an important point,” said Perez.

Verstappen was also not able to defend against Hamilton, losing the race win and seeing his lead in the title race cut to 14 points.

The Sao Paulo Grand Prix was part two of the season’s final triple-header, the next stop being the Losail circuit in Qatar where Perez hopes Red Bull will be more competitive against the Mercedes cars.

“Now we look ahead to Qatar,” he said.

“I don’t know what they are doing on the straight, but they were flying today. Hopefully, we can be competitive in Qatar.”