Sergio Perez: Seeing recovery truck on track ‘lowest point seen in F1 for years’

Sam Cooper
Sergio Perez looks concerned. Suzuka, October 2022.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez during the rain break of the Japanese Grand Prix. Suzuka, October 2022.

Sergio Perez has joined the many drivers to hit out at the FIA following their decision to allow a recovery track on the track before all the drivers were in the pits.

Pierre Gasly came uncomfortably close to a serious accident when he narrowly avoided the truck which had been brought onto the track to clear away Carlos Sainz’s destroyed car.

It evoked memories of a similar incident in 2014 when Jules Bianchi became the first F1 driver to die as a result of a crash on the track since Ayrton Senna after he lost control of his Marussia in similar conditions and hit the rear of the tractor crane removing Adrian Sutil’s Sauber.

Gasly, who had been on his own due to having pitted a lap earlier in order to remove an advertising hoarding from his front wing, was driving quickly to catch up with the field when he came across the incident having only been shown the red flag a few seconds previous.

Gasly was rightly furious after the incident, seen visibly remonstrating to the AlphaTauri team during the rain delay, before continuing his criticism after the race. The FIA later penalised Gasly for a red flag infringement.

The Frenchman was not alone in his criticism with Lando Norris tweeting that it was “unacceptable” and Red Bull’s Perez described it as one of the lowest moment in F1 for years.

The Mexican told Sky Sports F1 he did not care what the reason was and that it “should never happen again ever, in any category.”

“That’s the lowest point we’ve seen of the sport in years,” Perez, who finished second following Charles Leclerc’s penalty, said. “What happened today, that just makes me so angry.

“I just hope everybody in the sport [acts so] we never get to see this situation ever again because you’re just putting all the drivers at risk.

“We saw what happened few years ago here with with our friend Jules. I don’t care what the reason is for that, this should never happen again ever, in any category.”

The FIA explained their version of events by stating that by the time Gasly reached that point of the circuit, the race had been neutralised.

“In relation to the recovery of the incident on Lap 3, the Safety Car had been deployed and the race neutralised,” said the governing body in a statement.

“Car 10 [Gasly], which had collected damage and pitted behind the Safety Car, was then driving at high speed to catch up to the field.

“As conditions were deteriorating, the Red Flag was shown before [Gasly] passed the location of the incident where it had been damaged the previous lap.”

Read more: FIA launch ‘thorough review’ after scary recovery truck incident at Suzuka