Perez did not understand what was going on, says Marko

Sam Cooper
Helmut Marko speaking to Sergio Perez. Mexico City, November 2021.

Red Bull's Helmut Marko speaks to Sergio Perez inside the team's garage. Mexico City, November 2021.

Helmut Marko has said Sergio Perez was unaware of the wider context when it came to the team’s decisions during the Spanish Grand Prix.

There were two points of frustration for Perez during the race in Barcelona. The first came early on when a DRS-less Max Verstappen was unable to overtake George Russell but was not told to move aside for a quicker Perez.

The second was when the reverse happened, but this time the Mexican was told to let the reigning World Champion pass.

After the race, Perez said he was happy for the team but “we need to speak later”, but the Mexican has now been told by Helmut Marko that he did not have the full picture.

“It’s the same story as with Max [in regards to his frustration with his DRS issue],” Marko told the Dutch editor of “He [Perez] didn’t understand what was going on. But we were on two different strategies: Max was on a three-stopper and Checo on a two-stopper.

“He would never have made it on those tyres because Max was so much faster. So it was in the team’s interest to play it that way. Not only because Max could take the lead in the World Championship, but also to secure the one-two.”

It was a decision also defended by Christian Horner who said it was “absolutely the right thing to do.”

“I think the problem that we had we could see as I think other cars, we got temperatures raging, you know, water, oil, brakes,” Horner told Sky F1.


Red Bull's team orders hands Verstappen the win

Red Bull made the call to Sergio Perez to let his team-mate Max Verstappen through for the race win.

“And the last thing you want to risk is you know, DNF when you have got two cars that can potentially now one-two, and they were on different strategies, so it wasn’t a straight fight – Max had such a tyre advantage.

“And of course Checo’s tyres wouldn’t have made it you know, we don’t think to the end. So that’s why you know, he pitted towards the end of the race to get that valuable, fastest lap as well.

“Our responsibility is to bring the cars home with as many points as we can. And of course, what Checo couldn’t see at the time, which I think he’d see perfectly well now, is that you had such a long stint to do on that medium tyre.


“From a team perspective, there’s just no point in taking, you know that risk with an intermittent DRS, with temperatures raging up and down. So it was absolutely the right thing to do.”

Makro was in a positive mood as he looked back to just a few races ago when it seemed like Ferrari were disappearing over the horizon.

“And you all said it was over for us,” The 79-year-old Austrian quipped. “I said we had enough races and we would come back.”

He was also asked if Ferrari had given them a gift with Charles Leclerc’s retirement but he joked that they have only had “half the gift back” as Verstappen has DNFed twice so far this season.