Perez: ‘Shame’ to start Abu Dhabi GP from the back

Jamie Woodhouse
Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez's sponsors played no part in Red Bull's decision.

Sergio Perez called it a “shame” that engine penalties mean he will start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the back of the grid.

Not only is this the final race of the 2020 season, it’s also Perez’s final grands prix in Racing Point colours, and perhaps in Formula 1 for the foreseeable future.

And after winning his first race in the series last race weekend at the Sakhir GP, Perez had been hoping to compete for the podium in Abu Dhabi before the engine penalties were handed out.

“The car is feeling good, it’s a big shame that I’m going to be starting from the back because I think we have a good potential for qualifying, and to fight for the podium again here” he told reporters at Yas Marina Circuit.

“It’s going to be tough, we’re going to be starting from the back so our focus has been mainly on the long runs, trying to read as much as possible the race, what is going to happen, you only get to experience that in FP2 before the race.

“I think we have a very good idea and hopefully we get everything right to have a strong race on Sunday.”

Racing Point go in to the final round with P3 in the Constructors’ Championship very much on the line.

The Silverstone outfit have a 10-point advantage over McLaren, while Renault also can’t be ruled out of equation 22 points behind Racing Point.

So with that P3 position very important for his team, Perez is even more determined to work his way up the grid on race day.

“Yeah definitely, we’re looking forward to it and hopefully we can make it happen,” he said when asked if a good race is still possible.

“There’s still so much to play for this Sunday, Constructors’ is very important for us this Sunday, so I will try my best to make it as high as possible in to those points on Sunday.

“I can go to bed a bit more relaxed because I’m not qualifying much tomorrow so we will see what we’re able to do on Sunday.”

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Perez’s team-mate Lance Stroll is also focused on picking up “good points” in Abu Dhabi to see off the threat of McLaren.

“We’re in the fight with McLaren so we want to pick up some good points this weekend,” he said.

“For me it’s a standard weekend, for him [Perez] it’s more focused on the race.”

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