While much is being said about Sebastian Vettel’s abusive outbursts over the team radio during the recent Mexican Grand Prix, there was another driver that was far from happy during the race, and that was home hero Sergio Perez. While Vettel was choosing to use a few choice words to express his frustration, Perez vented his frustration at his Force India pit wall, minus the expletives.
For Perez, the strategy the team opted to use for him only hampered his race, rather than enhanced it as he was stuck behind the Williams of both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas for the majority of the afternoon. At one stage it looked as if he would make the pass and the crowd went wild, but unfortunately for the Mexican driver, he was unable to make it stick.
But, instead of swearing and cursing at the Mercedes powered car in front of him as the frustration set in, he asked the team several times why they pitted him as late as they did so that he would come out behind the Williams, which had the straight line speed advantage.
“Even though I scored a point, it was a very frustrating race being stuck behind the Williams cars and unable to overtake,” he explained. “I tried everything I could, but it’s not easy because they had a straight-line speed advantage. There were a few occasions when I was very close to making the move stick on Felipe [Massa], but in the end it just wasn’t possible.”
“I think maybe we could have tried something different with the strategy because we underestimated the effect of the medium tyre, which turned out to have much more life than we expected. So perhaps we could have pitted earlier and run longer on the medium.”
Despite his frustration at being stuck, Perez still had only gratitude for his home fans and has classed the race as the most enjoyable of the season…
“That’s something we need to analyse and understand if it would have made a difference to our result. Even with the tenth place the fans were cheering for me. They are so loyal; always behind me and they have given me so much positive energy all week. Although I wanted to give them a better result, this has still been the most enjoyable race of the year.”