Why didn’t Verstappen and Perez switch places

(Motorsport-Total.com) – “Can I have his position? I need points.” Sergio Perez radioed it to Red Bull’s command post shortly before the end of the Brazilian Formula 1 sprint. There was no response, and there was no change of seats, although team-mate Max Verstappen drove ahead of Perez and the World Cup was long in Verstappen’s favor, it is decided.

Max Verstappen ahead of Sergio Pérez in the Brazil 2022 Formula 1 sprint


So why didn’t Red Bull give a steady turn and wave to Perez? Sporting director Helmut Marko says on “Sky” that the necessary requirements were not met. Original audio: “If [Perez] catching up with Max [Verstappen] not to fight but [Perez] he was too far.”

In fact, the difference was 1.3 seconds. So Perez was not right next to Verstappen and the Ferrari driver was also 1.3 seconds behind Charles Leclerc – his direct rival for second place in the world championship behind Verstappen.

Why is Perez taking it easy?

With hindsight, Perez takes it in stride: “It probably doesn’t make a big difference, it’s just one point.” But with a six-point lead over Leclerc in the Formula 1 drivers’ standings, that one point could still be decisive.

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But Perez is counting on more on Sunday in the Grand Prix. “That’s the main thing for us,” he says. “Then we want to have both cars at the front and improve our performance. That’s the most important thing.”

Fourth and fifth place in the sprint was a “maximum” for Red Bull given the pace the RB18 was capable of, continued Perez. “We have a lot of work to do overnight. Hopefully that will put us in a good position for Sunday.”

Specifically, it is about optimizing tire wear. Mercedes, for example, got the better of the vote here, says Perez: “They seem to have a lot of downforce in the middle sector. It seems like that will definitely help them with the tire budget. We still have to work on that.”

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