As reported by RacingNews365, Sergio Perez narrowly missed out on P2 at the Abu Dhabi GP, as Charles Leclerc took the lead in both the race and the World Championship position.
The current advisor and head of Red Bull’s driver development program, Helmut Marko, believes that a crucial moment during the race negatively affected Perez.
He said that a critical “mistake” made Sergio Perez lose time which resulted in making the 32-year-old miss out on finishing second at the Abu Dhabi GP.
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Perez and Charles Leclerc, who were battling for second position in the Drivers’ Standings, had equivalent points before going into the race.
Leclerc chose a one-stop strategy for the Grand Prix, whereas Perez went with a two-stop approach. However, he also arrived at the pits for the second time very early.
In the closing laps of the race, the Mexican attempted to close the gap between him and Leclerc, but eventually failed. Leclerc then finished in second place, while Verstappen took first place.
Perez ended up clinching P3 afterwards but that meant Red bull had falied to achieve their first-ever 1-2 finish in the Drivers’ Championship.
However. after a highly successful season for Red Bull, Marko is not shedding any tears over the team’s failure to attain what could have been a remarkable accomplishment for them.
Marko told Servus TV that: “With a season like that? 17 wins and both titles? Then you should be more than satisfied,”
“The two-stop was the right choice with Perez, but what surprised us was that Ferrari were much better than expected in terms of tyre wear. [Carlos] Sainz lived up to our predictions, but Leclerc did not!”
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On Lap 16, Perez made his first pit stop of the 58-lap race. According to Marko, the driver was compelled to stop early since he had overused his tyres in the first stint.
On lap 34, he returned to the pits for a second time, and shortly after that, he was engaged in a battle with Lewis Hamilton’s W13. Marko believes Perez lost time because of this.
He added: “It was very tight in the end, but Perez made a mistake in the first phase of the race: he pushed too hard with his tyres and we had to overtake him earlier than planned,”
“Later he tried to overtake Hamilton, but was then immediately overtaken back. That cost him 1.3 seconds. It could have been more exciting as a result!”