Sergio Pérez recovered brilliantly in Saturday’s Austrian Grand Prix Sprint race, after a controversial track limits call saw the Mexican start from 13th place.
Pérez managed to recover a 5th place start for Sunday’s traditional race, with a podium at the team’s home event very much on the cards.
The Red Bull Racing driver was left frustrated with the FIA, after Pérez had his Q3 time deleted due to exceeding track limits on his final Q2 run.
Controversially, Pérez’ final Q2 lap wasn’t deleted at the time, meaning Pierre Gasly was eliminated as a result.
It also meant that Pérez wasted tyres in Q3, after his 4th place start was taken away due to the Q2 infringement.
Pérez agrees that he “definitely” exceeded track limits in Q2; however, he also thinks the FIA need to do a better job at “policing” the issue.
“I think I definitely did something wrong, but also I think I paid the price from the FIA not being able to police it better,” Perez said.
“I got a harsher penalty than I should because I wasted all my tyres in Q3, risking it all. But anyway, it’s all in the past. We’re seeing a bit of inconsistency throughout, so hopefully we’re able to get back some rhythm and work together with the FIA.”
Had Gasly been allowed to run in Q3, as he should’ve done, then he may not have been caught up in a first lap collision with Sir Lewis Hamilton.
The Scuderia AlphaTauri driver spun at the first corner, after cutting across the Mercedes driver.
It means that Gasly’s poor luck in the Sprint races continues, with the Frenchman having never finished in the top 8 during one.
Gasly admitted the Sprints haven’t been working in his “favour”, but is hoping for better luck in the main race.
“I didn’t really know where I was going and I tried to turn the car and spin it as fast as I could, but it all goes really, really fast and clearly these sprint races are not playing in our favour,” said Gasly.
He said his plan for the Austrian Grand Prix was “First, try to make the first corner and get out with the car as it started. And then after, we’ll see.
“It’s going to be a long race and today with the damage it was very tricky. So we need to see what we can do better,” Pierre continued, summarising his Saturday as “clearly, not a great day.”
Drivers were forced to do an extra-formation lap on Saturday, after Guanyu Zhou grinded to a halt at the end of the lap.
This saw a number of teams tell their drivers information, which resulted in them being summoned to the stewards after the race.
Teams informed their drivers to pull-away from the grid using the pit-lane limiter, something which they can’t inform their drivers about.
However, given the unusual circumstances of an aborted start, the FIA didn’t award any penalties.