Sergio Perez was forced to address a fiery right front brake disc early in the Italian Grand Prix which turned his race into a “mess”.
Perez was one of many drivers carrying a grid penalty into the Italian Grand Prix, leaving him to start from P13, although he still had reason to be optimistic of a strong result in the Red Bull RB18, currently the fastest car on the grid.
His race encountered rocky waters early on, Perez forced to pit by lap eight with smoke coming from the right front wheel on his Red Bull. He returned to the track with flames starting to develop.
Perez thought that could have been the moment when his race ended, but he was able to keep his RB18 in a healthy enough state to continue. But by this point, he said the damage was done.
“It was a mess, my race,” he told Sky Sports F1. “It all started with the front right disc early on and that really compromised our race because we had to ‘box’ pretty early.
“Then the first laps on the hard tyres I had to lift and coast like crazy to bring them (the brakes) back to temperature. Because otherwise I think we could have retired the car. I spent a few laps with the right disc on fire a bit, so it wasn’t ideal and I think at the end I could have got to the end with the hard tyres, but we had to stop.”
The Italian Grand Prix ultimately concluded under Safety Car conditions as a result of Daniel Ricciardo stopping at the side of the track – a “shame” said Perez as he felt he could have had a run at Lewis Hamilton, having stopped for fresh tyres.
Asked if he would have liked to see the race resume, Perez replied: “Yeah, I had better tyres than Lewis so it would have been good to get the restart for a bit.
“But unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.”
Checo boxes 📦 A 34-lap stint on Hards comes to an end with a new set of Softs 🛠 He rejoins P7
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) September 11, 2022
The handling of the race conclusion at Monza did not go down well with the fans, boos ringing loudly from the grandstands, while Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto strongly criticised the decision to end the race behind the Safety Car.
Asked if the drivers would look to bring this up in a future briefing, Perez replied: “I don’t really know what happened. They took a long time to recover Daniel in the end, so a bit of a shame.”