‘He’ll be kicking himself’ – Major Sergio Perez mistake highlighted in last-gasp Las Vegas battle

Thomas Maher
Charles Leclerc racing Sergio Perez during the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc holds off Sergio Perez for second place at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Karun Chandhok believes Sergio Perez will be “kicking himself” over how he handled the last lap of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Perez finished in third place in Las Vegas, having been leading the race with 15 laps to go – only to be overtaken by Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen in quick succession.

Perez then looked set for second place following an error from Leclerc, only for the Ferrari driver to find a way back past at the last overtaking opportunity on the final lap of the Grand Prix.

Karin Chandhok: Sergio Perez should have been in second place

While Perez took home third place to secure the runner-up spot in the Drivers’ Championship, making it an overall day of success for himself and Red Bull, Karun Chandhok believes the Mexican driver will be kicking himself over making Leclerc’s life too easy on the final lap.

Analysing the last lap overtake for Sky F1, the former F1 driver said Perez should have been much more defensive given it was the last lap of the race.

“I think Checo [Perez] will be kicking himself because it was on the final lap of the race,” Chandhok said.

“Coming down the straight from Turn 12 down to Turn 14, I think he will be regretting not moving across the inside and defending because he just opened up the door.

“He stayed firmly to the right and just invited a lunge, which was always going to happen on the last corner of the last lap.

“Unfortunately for Perez, he’s come out on the losing end. He just invited him. I think if Perez had moved across, Leclerc would have struggled to get past.

“Perez could have brake-checked him at the apex of 14 and made sure he got a good exit and could have got the 1-2.

“I think Charles did a great job lunging on the inside, and Perez had a good race going through 11th to third, but I do think he could have had second today.”

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Christian Horner: Sergio Perez so unlucky to miss out on second

Speaking to Sky F1 after the race, Red Bull boss Christian Horner was full of praise for both of his drivers after securing a 1-3 finish.

Speaking about Verstappen’s brilliant drive, Horner said he thought the Mexican driver had responded from missing out in qualifying.

“I thought Checo was brilliant today as well,” he said.

“Coming from a nose change at the back of the field coming through to lead the race.

“He was so unlucky to lose out on second place, but nailing second place in the championship as well.

“It’s been an amazing season for us and today sort of summed up the kind of year that we’ve been having.

“Max was dropping back at the end of the race there to try and give him a bit of a tow. It just wasn’t quite enough today, but, you know, coming from the back of the grid, after a nose change on the first lap, I thought he drove a great Grand Prix.”

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