Red Bull “were extremely unlucky” with Virtual Safety Car timing – Perez

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[raceweekendpromotion]In the round-up: Sergio Perez says that Red Bull were “extremely unlucky” with virtual safety car timing.

In brief

Perez: Virtual Safety Car helped Mercedes

Perez said Red Bull’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix was hampered – and their rival Mercedes’ helped – by the timing of a brief Virtual Safety Car to remove debris from the track.

Carbon fibre had been strewn across Interlagos following a collision between Lance Stroll and Red Bull junior Yuki Tsunoda, resulting in first a full safety car period, then a second, shorter virtual one, during which time Valtteri Bottas was able to pit, putting him ahead of Perez.

“We were extremely unlucky,” said the Red Bull driver. “There was nothing we could have done differently with the Virtual Safety Car, we just got very unlucky and unfortunately, that helped Mercedes to undercut with Bottas.”

Sainz: Ferrari “need to analyse” cause of poor start

Having made an excellent getaway during sprint qualifying, Carlos Sainz Jnr was dismayed by his poor start in Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver banged wheels with Lando Norris on the way to turn one, leaving the McLaren driver with a puncture.

“The only problem was at the start, I shouldn’t have been fighting Lando to be honest, because my start was really, really poor,” Sainz admitted. “We need to analyse what happened because I think the procedure from my side was pretty much spot on, but for some reason we don’t understand we triggered a lot of wheelspin.

“So there must have been something with the clutch or the tyre, that was really unexpected that we will review tonight.”

Norris takes blame for Sainz collision

Norris initially pointed the finger at Sainz for their lap one collision but on reflection admitted he was “not happy” with his manoeuvre on the Ferrari.

The McLaren driver said he made “an amazing start, to get ahead of Carlos so quickly” before the pair made contact.

“[I] was just a bit eager to get back onto the track and the angle I came back on was a bit too much and then just got unfortunate with a puncture,” he said, having reviewed onboard footage. “So that was tough. I made my race a lot harder than it should have been.

“We lost a lot of points because of it, but I still had a good fight and managed to get back to P10 and get one point at least, so better than nothing. But it should have been better today so I’m not happy with myself. But the team did a good job with the strategy and everything else.”

Domenicali visits Pirelli test track

Circuito Panamericano, 2021
Pirelli’s Circuito Panamericano test track in Brazil
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Deomnicali visited the Pirelli’s tyre proving ground at the Circuito Panamericano ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The venue offers seven different track configurations. It has been used for Formula 3 and stock car testing as well as road car tyre development.

“It was fascinating to visit the Circuito Panamericano, a very technological track where Pirelli tests road car tyres, making the most of its expertise learned on the F1 track,” said Domenicali. “Today I got the chance to learn how the sporting activity in F1 has a direct relevance to the tyres we all drive on the road every day.”

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Comment of the day

After another weekend of stewards’ decisions where, despite lengthy explanations in documentation, outcomes seem ripe for debate, Bas CB asks if it comes back to another unpopular issue: track limits.

It is really ridiculous how inconsistent they are with rulings. Either you want to let them race in most circumstances or you police track limits to the millimetre, but please keep it more or less the same everywhere.

I don’t think stewards’ penalties can be appealed, but with Masi not even referring this to the stewards for review / investigation and the footage from Max’s onboards potentially giving us “new information” we might see Mercedes being able to.

Regardless we badly need the FIA, regular stewards and the drivers to get together and agree where to put the limit and how/what to consistently police and penalise to make sure it is clear and transparent what is ok and what is not.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Loki, Tom Watson, Deej92 and Forzarogo!

On this day in motorsport

  • On this day in 1932 Jerry Unser was born – the member of the Unser racing dynasty made his sole world championship race start in 1958

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 17 comments on “Red Bull “were extremely unlucky” with Virtual Safety Car timing – Perez”

    1. Perhaps luck itself got appalled at FIA stewards actions against Mercedes and lack of penalty for Max’ s cheating?

    2. Without VSC luck, would Perez have managed to hold on in front of Bottas? Giving the somewhat ineffective racecraft of the latter, maybe.

    3. Norris is not completely out of fault, he was to eager to turn left but Sainz caused the clash by squeezing to the right.
      Lando has to be less critical of himself otherwise people take advantage of you

      1. So you are disagreeing with the person who was in the car at the time, drives the car for a living, and who spent time analyzing the incident afterward? Interesting.

      2. @peartree Sainz didn’t really move at all. Not much he could’ve done to avoid the contact.

      3. Sainz had a mile or more room on his left side but choose to close the line for Norris. It was Sainz’ fault. Of course Norris chose to go for a gap that wasn’t much bigger than his cars width. But it was Sainz who made that gap and tried to close it.

        1. Norris literally admitted fault

      4. Sainz didn’t really move at all. Not much he could’ve done to avoid the contact.

        Even better, Sainz moved and moved to the centerline to avoid the contact. But was not enough and that is the reason Norris recognized he went at too step angle.

        Why don’t see the top view camera footage instead of embarrassing yourself?

    4. One thing I’m wondering is if the results of the recent fan survey played/will play a role in stewards been more lenient on ‘hard racing’ & less likely to want to hand out penalties for incidents like Max/Lewis today.

      The survey showed that fans want drivers to be left to race with less investigations & penalties only handed out for the most severe instances.

      This matches what drivers have been asking for in discussing with the FIA for a while now with the general feeling in the paddock been there are too many investigations and too many unnecessary (In the eyes of drivers) penalties been handed out.

      1. I do think that is part of it, yeah. But then why did Gasly get penalised for a more or less normal incident in the first corner 2 races back, and we also saw penalties handed out in Austria @gt-racer.

        The inconsistency and lack of transparency of what is fine is what hurts the most IMO.

    5. Love it when people here speak so confidently about who’s at fault, then the drivers themselves take responsibility.

    6. Of course it was a stellar drive by Lewis, but I also understand why some people refer to the car.

      It’s only a week ago that Lewis did exactly the same.

    7. I couldn’t agree more with the COTD. 100% spot on.

    8. Speaking about making your own luck, i wonder if Redbull would stoop to that in the coming races.

      There were questionable break downs in recent seasons by the likes of Hass which helped Ferrrai when they needed it, so im wonder if we’ll see something similar between Redbull and their sponcered teams. Just saying, the potenial exists.

      breakdown-gate anyone?

    9. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      15th November 2021, 16:20

      With only the television images it does appear that Max went straight on and not fully try to make the corner. That really isn’t let them race as at that very moment he wasn’t.

      Had Max made the apex but then starts to move wide pushing Lewis off the track would in my opinion be let them race.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        15th November 2021, 16:23

        Maybe Valtteri should of stayed on track and got hit by Max? As it was he moved off the track. Let them race.

    10. Is the Häkkinen interview good? I not really liked him as a child or young man because he beat my favorite Schumacher, and he had a really good car to do so. But since his retirement, my respect towards him reached a high level, as his words are worthy to listen to, and he has some good sense of humour as well. While watching a former long interview with him I had great fun. Bookmarked the new one anyway :)

      Interestingly once (at about a decade before) I have seen a McLaren from around Hakkinen’s time on the sidewalk, ahead of a very small tyre and suspension repair shop of Zoltán Zengő in Budapest – right before dusk at a suburban street, wow what an unlikely spotting, I have jumped off the bus and walked back 10 minutes to see it. I had seen it form a distance of 1-2 meters, I had not went closer, to avoid the mechanics sending me home with a wheel wrench :)

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