Red Bull claim Sergio Perez got lucky

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez had a very mixed 2023 Dutch GP, filled with ups and downs.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has revealed that the late red flag at the Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday saved Sergio Perez from retiring, after the Mexican crashed twice.

Perez endured a very eventful Dutch GP, which started in sensational fashion for the 33-year-old.

Following a sudden huge downpour at the end of the first lap, Perez was the first driver to dive into the pits for Intermediates, something which saw him inherit the race lead once everyone had fitted the compound.

It meant the Red Bull driver went from seventh to first by the start of the third lap, putting him in a position to fight for victory.

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However, Perez’s chances of victory were reduced to almost zero after Red Bull pitted Max Verstappen for a dry compound first when the circuit dried, despite the Mexican having had track position.

As a result, Verstappen moved back into the lead, whilst Perez dropped to second after pitting a lap later.

Then came yet more torrential rain, which saw streams form across the circuit.

By this point, everybody had pitted yet again for another set of Intermediates, yet it didn’t stop Perez from going off at Turn 1.

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Perez just couldn’t slow his car down and appeared to lock both front tyres, before doing a 180-degree spin before hitting the barrier.

By doing the spin, the rear of Perez’s car hit the tyre barrier, rather than the front.

In the process, he fell behind Fernando Alonso, demoting the Red Bull driver to third.

Perez quickly got going again, before pitting at the end of the lap for Extreme Wet tyres.

However, when he entered the pits, Perez hit the pit wall, before a red flag was flown seconds later.

He somehow escaped that incident as well, although he was slapped with a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit-lane.

This demoted him to fourth at the end of the race once it resumed, behind Pierre Gasly.

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Marko admitted afterwards that Perez was “lucky”, as he would’ve retired had it not been for the red flag.

“He was still lucky with the pit-stop because he crashed quite hard when entering the pit lane,” Marko told Viaplay.

“On top of that, there was another penalty because he was late with the brakes. He was still lucky. Without the red flag [later in the race] he would not have reached the finish line.”