Windsor accuses Pérez of intent: "This is unacceptable, Marko won't tolerate this" F1

Windsor accuses Pérez of intent: "This is unacceptable, Marko won't tolerate this"

Windsor accuses Pérez of intent: "This is unacceptable, Marko won't tolerate this"

Analyst Peter Windsor is convinced that Sergio Pérez deliberately pushed teammate Max Verstappen onto the grass in the opening lap of the sprint race in Austria. Windsor suspects that Pérez did himself no favors with that move and believes it will put further strain on his relationships with Helmut Marko and Verstappen.

Windsor already noticed a significant difference during the warm-up lap for the sprint race: "I found it quite interesting that Pérez already locked up his wheel during the warm-up lap at Turn 3, similar to what he did in Melbourne during qualifying when conditions were comparable," Windsor said in his analysis on YouTube. "Then he almost lost control of the car at Turn 5 of the formation lap, while Max looked like he was on rails. It's fun to see them drive in the rain. It's enjoyable to see how a driver like Max utilizes his talent on a wet track, using a wide line to search for grip."

As the drivers resumed their positions, a fierce battle unfolded between the two Red Bull Racing drivers in the first lap. "For a sprint race, this was a pretty good race. Pérez had a better start, and Max let him go towards the first corner, but as a result, Pérez came out a bit wide on the kerbstones," Windsor observed. "Max had a perfect exit and anticipated what Pérez was going to do. He was in the perfect position to outbrake him on the inside at Turn 3, but between Turn 1 and Turn 3, Max was fully alongside Sergio, and Sergio did what he had always intended to do, which was to force him off the track. Max ended up with two wheels on the grass but managed to get back onto the track."

The battle wasn't over yet. "At that moment, you could see adrenaline was running high. Max braked late on the inside at Turn 3. He went wide, and he would have done so anyway because that's where the grip was in Turn 3. He had to brake very hard there, causing Pérez to brake hard as well. As a result, Hülkenberg took P2, which was very beneficial for Verstappen." The Dutchman then quickly disappeared on the horizon, leaving his teammate trailing by 21 seconds in 24 laps.

Pérez was well aware of what he was doing

According to Windsor, there is no doubt that intent was involved. "I have no doubt that Pérez knew exactly what he was doing. He said after the race that visibility was terrible and that he didn't know Max was there, and that he gave him space as soon as Max was there. Of course, he says that, right? Where did he think Max would be? He knew he didn't come out of the first corner well, and that Max had a good exit, absolutely. Even if Pérez didn't know he was there, he could have assumed so and not deviated from his line and assume he wasn't there. After all, this is his teammate," Windsor expresses his outrage.

"This is the latest chapter in a strained relationship between the two teammates," Windsor states. "Put that into perspective with how Pérez has been doing since Baku, where he said he could compete with Max. Also, consider the context of what happened in Brazil last year, and then it's not surprising that Pérez did this, especially after yesterday's poor qualifying. He had to show what he could do," explains the 71-year-old Brit.

Windsor suspects that this will only make the situation tougher for Pérez at Red Bull. "I think Pérez was completely wrong in what he did, but I also think that Max should have anticipated that he would do something like this. Verstappen won't be happy. And Pérez now knows that he has likely awakened the sleeping giant in the sense that he's never going to give any space again. I don't think Red Bull will be very impressed either."

Within the team, there will be extensive discussions about the incident, and according to Windsor, Pérez should not count on much understanding from Marko. "I'm not sure if Pérez did himself any favors here in terms of his future at Red Bull, even for this year. Pérez pushed Verstappen onto the grass, and Verstappen could have easily spun. That is unacceptable. That's how Marko will see it. He won't accept Pérez's excuse that he didn't know he was there."

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