Perez Admits He's To Blame For Penalty In Jeddah After Team Told Him 'To Hold It Back'

Sunday, 10 March 2024 at 22:30
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Sergio Perez received a five-second penalty during the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which made it almost impossible for him to win the race.
The Mexican driver collected his second trophy for a second-place finish in the 2024 F1 season as he crossed the finish line at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit just behind his Red Bull teammate, Max Verstappen.
Verstappen was once again faster than everyone else, but even if Perez would be faster than his teammate, it likely wouldn't matter, as the Dutchman could finish up to five seconds behind his teammate and still win the race.
The reason was Perez's five-second penalty, which he received for an unsafe release during his first and only pit-stop of the race, when he changed from medium to hard tires after Lance Stroll's crash, which triggered a safety car.

"It was quite a bit more chaotic. I had a great start. Unfortunately, I couldn't keep ahead of Charles because he kept it there and obviously I gave him the space into Turn 2 and it was his corner then in Turn 4. So that was a nice start, good start once again. And from then on, I was able to get through Charles, I think within two or three laps. And then it was looking good, the race."

Speaking about the race afterwards, as per GPBlog, the Mexican driver admitted that the unsafe release was because of his own decision, as he was told by the team not to go.

"I was within three seconds from Max, and I think the degradation on that Medium stint was looking quite good. But unfortunately, then we were compromised with such an early Safety Car, and that meant that basically everyone just pitted. And when I was going out, it was actually my mistake, because I was told by the team to hold it back."