until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Perez ‘not comfortable with myself’ over Leclerc clashes

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez says he’s “not comfortable with myself” for having “ruined” Charles Leclerc’s Austrian Grand Prix with his over-exuberant defence.

Perez was issued a pair of five-second penalties for separate incidents with Leclerc, who tried desperately to get past for what was then sixth place.

The first run-in came at Turn 4, with Leclerc looking to have edged ahead round the outside but getting nudged by Perez towards the gravel, while on the second occasion the Ferrari was run out of road while exiting Turn 6 side by side with Perez.

“Come on, this guy is a f***ing d**khead. Get out of the f**king way!” Leclerc shouted on the radio after the second incident.

The two five-second penalties combined to cost Perez one position at the finish, as he slipped behind Leclerc’s team-mate Carlos Sainz – while Leclerc himself was three seconds off benefiting and settled for eighth.

“With Charles, we were running in dirty air, in a lot of traffic, and very old tyres, I was just braking as late as possible, running out of road and ending up with contact,” Perez told Sky after the race.

“That’s not the way I like to race and I’m really sorry if I affected the race of Charles because that’s not the way I do my racing.

“I spoke to him and explained what happened from my side, but obviously it’s not enough.

“I don’t feel happy or comfortable with myself knowing that I ruined the race for another driver. I have to review the incident and move on.”

Charles Leclerc off Austrian Grand Prix 2021

Leclerc was still livid with Perez by the time the chequered flag flew, twice describing the situation as “f**king joke”.

“Come on, a 10-second penalty? He still finishes in front, hitting us twice off-track. What a d**khead, he f**ked up our race,” he said.

But the Ferrari driver was keen to play down his frustration with Perez when facing the media.

“I was angry in the car because it felt like I had no space,” he said. “I know the overtakes were quite optimistic but on the other hand I had to if I wanted to make it work.

“There was no space on the outside on the exit but that’s life.”

Perez, for his part, did also feel that his own race had been destroyed by an “over the limit” Lando Norris after the restart, in the Turn 4 battle that left Perez himself skidding through the gravel.

“Lando got away, he didn’t have any damage but I basically had my race ruined,” he said.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks