Red Bull strategy baffles Jenson Button as Sergio Perez wants internal talks

Thomas Maher
Sergio Perez pictured in his Red Bull RB19 during the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend.

Sergio Perez pictured in his Red Bull RB19 during the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend.

Sergio Perez sat in the garage for the final minutes of qualifying in Las Vegas, as other cars then improved to knock him out of Q2.

Perez was knocked out in Q2 down in 12th place, just behind championship runner-up rival Lewis Hamilton, as both leading drivers failed to clear the second part of qualifying.

Unusually, Perez had returned to the garage with minutes to spare in Q2 and, with the track evolution giving time to all around him, the Mexican was able to watch on in comfort from the cockpit of his car as he tumbled down the order and out of the session.

Sergio Perez: We had already been lucky in Q1

Explaining the situation to Sky F1 afterward, Perez admitted the team had been caught out by the extent of the evolution – the rough idea of where their laptime would put them proving to be inaccurate as the final minutes ticked away.

“That was basically our strategy from the beginning,” Perez explained about the decision to return to the pits with three minutes to go.

“I think the track… it’s obviously a new track and it caught us out, unfortunately, so it’s something that we will discuss internally to understand what happened.

“We were already lucky in Q1 that we managed to get through. So yeah, plenty of things to analyse from that.

“I think tomorrow is gonna be a very interesting race because a lot of things can happen so we will see what we are able to make tomorrow.” recommends

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Red Bull team boss Christian Horner explained that Perez had simply not got enough tyres to be able to take on another run, and had been sent out to attack his qualifying attempt offset from the rest of the pack.

“He went a little earlier – we only took three sets of tyres into qualifying,” he said.

“To try to avoid getting caught in traffic on the last lap, he just did the lap a little earlier and just was a tad short.”

But 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button wasn’t impressed as he weighed in on Perez’s poor showing, with the Mexican 32 points clear of Lewis Hamilton with two races remaining in the championship.

“The worry is also there’s always gonna be a yellow flag right in the end,” Button said.

“But I don’t know why they didn’t have more tyres. That’s the issue. Having just three sets taking into qualifying – that’s why they’re struggling to play it out well in Q2.”

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