Helmut Marko reveals Sergio Perez completely ignored his warning in Austria

Sergio Perez retired from the Austrian Grand Prix after he was hit by George Russell.

Red Bull adviser Dr Helmut Marko has revealed that he warned Sergio Perez of the dangers of going around the outside at Turn Four, particularly on the opening lap.

Perez’s predecessor – Alex Albon – had tried the same thing on Sir Lewis Hamilton in 2020 when the seven-time champion hit him, turning a prospective race win into a failure to score a single point for the Thai-Briton.

Perez was also found guilty of pushing Charles Leclerc off the circuit at Turn Four last season, so there are plenty of examples of moves in the downhill, cambered, sweeping corner going wrong in years gone by.

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Nonetheless, the Mexican tried it round the outside of George Russell on lap one in Spielberg last weekend, and it went about as well as we have come to expect as the Mercedes tagged the Red Bull and sent Perez spinning off.

In the end, there was too much damage to the 32-year-old’s car, so he had to retire, but Dr Marko wished his driver had not gone for the move to begin with.

“We said before the start, ‘do not go around the outside in that corner, that is not possible,’” he told Sky Germany.

“This was just unnecessary. We’ve seen that before, it doesn’t work. 

“After that, the car was damaged and it made no sense to continue driving.

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“There was a lot of damage to the floor, he might have finished two laps behind, so it didn’t make sense, it was better to save the mileage.”

As much as it would have been sensible for Perez to back out, he was ahead going into the corner before Russell got caught on the kerb and hit him.

The Briton was given a five-second penalty, and Dr Marko joked that Mercedes drivers do not take kindly to being passed at that corner.

“I don’t think Mercedes like it when our cars go around the outside in Turn 4!” he added.

“It was a shame, because you saw that Checo was ahead, it’s almost a perfect imitation of the incident with Lewis and Albon a few years ago. 

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“It’s a shame we didn’t get more space there.”

Russell recovered to fourth behind team-mate Sir Lewis Hamilton, who secured his fourth podium of the season in P3.

Leclerc won the race ahead of Max Verstappen to pass Perez for second in the Drivers’ Championship, but the Scuderia missed the chance to close the gap to Red Bull in the constructors’ fight to 33 points.

Carlos Sainz suffered an engine blowout late on, causing a Virtual Safety Car that brought both the leaders into the pits.

Verstappen claimed the fastest lap behind the Monegasque, whose victory means that there is now a 56-point difference between the teams.