Perez: Final laps of Aussie GP ‘dangerous’ due to lack of visibility

Sergio Perez says the end of afternoon low sun made for “dangerous” conditions in the final laps of the Australian Grand Prix.

The event in Melbourne extended well past three hours in duration as multiple incidents led to two lengthy red flag periods.

The sun was therefore low on the horizon when the final restart took place. Cold tyres meant that grip was at a premium when the field barreled down towards Turn 1, but Perez says he was especially impaired by a lack of visibility which led to the Red Bull driver veering on to the grass at the start as the mayhem began.

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“I had to avoid Gasly,” explained Perez who was classified fifth at the end of the day after starting from the pitlane. “And then there was no visibility really going into Turn 1.

“It was really dangerous, first of all the warm-up, but secondly, we could not see anything. We cannot race in these conditions any more. One day, it’s going to be a big shunt.

“We cannot see anything. The last 30 laps we are just a passenger, we don’t have any visibility.”

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Perez was set to rely ona lo,ng first sting on the hard tyre ina bid to carve his way through the field.

But that plan went out the window foin the wake of Alex Albon’s crash and the deployment of the first red flag of the day after just nine laps that gave everyone a free tyre change.

“It was a big mess with the DRS train early on,” added the Mexican.

“I needed to take a lot more risk if I wanted to make some more progress, and probably I wouldn’t have finished the race or probably I could have been a little bit higher.

“It’s a gamble, and I think the safety car did hurt us because everyone went for the hards, so there wasn’t much of a strategy that we could do, and that put us a bit out of sync.”


As he crossed the checkered flag P5, Perez reckoned that he had made the most of the conditions given the circumstances.

“I think that was really the maximum we could have done today. As I say, if we wanted more we would have needed to take much more risk.

“The restart, the first standing start I did, I mean it’s a mess starting in those positions. It’s people taking massive risks, and it was quite difficult for me.”

Perez had suffered multiple off-track excursions in free practice and again in qualifying due to an alleged brake balance issue. But there was fortunately no sign of the problem on race day.

“We changed a lot of things in the car, on the engine side and on the brake balance, and the chassis,” he said.

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