SportsPesa Racing Point F1 Team caused “confusion” as Sergio Perez crashed on the final lap of the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka International Racing Circuit. However, Perez’s crash caused teammate Lance Stroll to be promoted into tenth place, only to be demoted again.
Sergio Perez, managed to bring his RP19 home in ninth, after qualifying in seventeenth. He explained he felt his strategy was “fantastic” s he completed a two-stop within the race. He also expressed that the teams’ “pace in the race was better than qualifying”
The Mexican said, “Our pace in the race was better than qualifying and I was more confident with the car. I made a good start and the team did a fantastic job with the strategy. We pitted a second time for Soft tyres late in the race and I managed to get back into the points.“
However, Perez had an incident ,in the final lap of the race, after trying to overtake Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda‘s Pierre Gasly at Turn two. The collision sent him into the gravel, meaning he was left down in seventeenth place. He said that there was “confusion” as the chequered flag, came out at lap fifty two instead of lap fifty three, making the race classified at that point.
“There was confusion at the end because the chequered flag came out a lap early, so when I was taken out by Gasly the race had already finished.“
Perez additionally explained that he felt “much faster” than Gasly when he pitted for new tyres. But added it was “disappointing” to finish the race as he did in the gravel of turn two.
Perez said, “With the fresh tyres I was much faster than him. I was ahead of him and left enough room so there was no need for the contact. It’s disappointing to finish the race like that – with a damaged car – but at least we got some points for the team.“
Perez’s teammate Lance Stroll started in twelfth out-qualifying his teammate, and had a good start making it into the top ten from the start of the race. He said he felt he has “a good first stint” as he ran in the top half of the grid. But expressed that he was “struggling” with his medium tyres which he ran with for thirty four laps.
“We had a good first stint running solidly in the top ten, but the main issue today was struggling with the tyres in the final laps.”
The Canadian said he spent the majority of his race “behind Gasly” whom later collided with his teammate. He felt running behind Gasly took the wear out of his tyres as they lacked grip to hold onto the eighth place Stroll had ran in.
“I spent most of the race just behind Gasly, which wasn’t good for my front tyres, but it was really during the last ten laps that we lacked the grip to hold on to eighth place. We had committed to the one-stop, but maybe the two-stop strategy was the way to go because it gives you a big advantage at the end of the race. We saw that with Checo. “
After his teammate’s collision, Stroll was promoted to tenth place. However, he was disappointed and explained him and the team will “analyse” to see where the team can “improve” as he aims for points in Mexico.
“We had good track position at the beginning of the race so we tried to hang on for the points. It didn’t go our way today and we will analyse things to understand where we can improve for the next time.”