Perez’s slow stop not the same as Max’s Monza issue

Date published: September 28 2021 - Michelle Foster

Sergio Perez head down in helmet. Russia September 2021

Sergio Perez’s 8.9s pit stop at the Russian GP was not caused by the same issue that affected Max Verstappen in Monza, says Christian Horner.

Verstappen had a long pit stop at the Italian Grand Prix, the Dutchman left waiting in the pits for 11 seconds after “human error” led to his one mechanic pressing the button that lets the jack man know he’s done too soon.

While at the start of this campaign that was permitted, the FIA issued a new Technical Directive mid-season that means if the button is pressed before the wheel has been tightened, nothing happens and the entire process has to be repeated.

Two weeks later it was Perez who had a slow stop, the Mexican driver stationary for 8.9s due to a problem with the right rear wheel.

“It took a while to get the tyre out and then the clutch turned the rear wheel, which took longer to put it back in, so it was frustrating,” Horner explained to the Spanish edition of Motorsport.com.

“It wasn’t because of that Technical Directive.

“There was a slight delay in getting off the wheel and the clutch was released when it was in place. So that only aggravated the problem, that’s what cost Sergio’s day.”

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Unfortunately for the mechanic involved, he suffered a hand injury although Horner did say it was not serious.

Perez was running up in third place when the rain arrived late in the grand prix, a delayed decision to swap to intermediate tyres costing him positions.

P3 before the rain, he finished ninth.

“Checo rolled the dice and wanted to stay out of it, from a team point of view that shared our options,” said the boss.

“So Max benefited from the decision to go into the pits and unfortunately Sergio paid the price.

“It’s always easy to see later but obviously it’s very difficult at the time and it was a great decision by Verstappen, which paid off.

“Perez had a great race, he returned to third position and should have been on the podium.”

 

Prior to the Russian Grand Prix weekend, Horner had voiced his unhappiness over the FIA’s decision to introduce a new Technical Directive mid-season.

“It’s always annoying to have something change mid-season,” he said, “and particularly something procedural like that.

“So, the TD had a direct impact on the human issue that we add in Monza, which is annoying but it’s the same for everybody, we have to learn from it, understand what went wrong, address that to try to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“It was a consequence of the change that was introduced.”

 

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