Sympathy from victor Perez after Verstappen and Hamilton slip up

The Mexican claimed his first win for Red Bull Racing in Baku on Sunday

By Toby Lock
Monday, 7th June 2021, 10:12 am
Updated Monday, 7th June 2021, 10:15 am
Perez won on his sixth outing for Red Bull
Perez won on his sixth outing for Red Bull

Sergio Perez admitted he felt sorry for both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton as both saw their chances of victory slip through their grasp to allow him to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Mexican looked on course for second spot behind Red Bull team-mate Verstappen before the Dutchman's tyre blew with five laps to go, bringing out the red flag. Until that point, Perez had done a brilliant job to keep Hamilton behind him for the majority of the race after Red Bull made the overcut work at the pitstops to put him second.

At the restart of the two-lap shoot-out, Hamilton made a better start than Perez but out-braked himself into Turn 1, allowing Perez to claim his second career victory, and his first since joining Red Bull in the winter.

Sergio Perez celebrates on the podium

Speaking afterwards though, he admitted he felt sorry for both Verstappen and Hamilton.

"I feel very sorry for Max because he deserved the win and a 1-2 for the Team would’ve been very enjoyable," he said. "And I am sorry for Lewis because it’s very painful when these things happen but we are all vulnerable to mistakes.

"It feels amazing to get my first win with Red Bull. It was a crazy rollercoaster of a race, we were basically flat out from the very first lap and I had Lewis behind pushing me so I couldn’t breathe, it was very challenging but we kept our focus.

"Everything worked perfectly today apart from the restart at the end where I just had no grip. I thought I cannot lose this race two laps from the flag so I broke as late as I could into Turn 1 and then I saw Lewis locking up and go straight on into the run off. It just shows how on the limit we are, the speeds we are doing are tremendous.

"We have to enjoy today, our pace was great and we have a very good race car. We are working flat out and giving our best every week, it’s only race six and there’s more to come from me, the relationship with Max and the team is great and there’s still a long way to go in this championship.”