Sergio Perez has put his decision not to push for the fastest lap at the 2023 Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix down to a miscommunication.
Red Bull held a comfortable one-two in Jeddah but the fastest lap point was still on the table to be won. Max Verstappen turned up the wick on the 50th and final tour to claim it while Perez chose to remain at the pace he had been setting to take victory.
The Mexican has moved to reassure that there are no complications behind the scenes despite the media’s best efforts to create some, explaining that it was nothing more than a miscommunication with his engineer.
“I think there was a bit of a miscommunication between myself and my engineer,” Perez told the media. “I don’t think there was any more to it. The team did a good job to let us race.
“I didn’t try in the end. I spoke with my engineers and it was all clear before and after the race.
“You guys like to create some stories sometimes you know, but I think it is all good in the team right now.”
Perez is all too aware that he will have to produce a Jeddah-esque performance on many occasions in 2023 to become world champion but he insists that consistency is key despite Red Bull‘s dominance.
“It’s all about consistency,” Perez continued. “You can win 15 races but if in all the other races you just crash it’s not enough.
“I think I just need to reach that level of consistency and take it race by race. We [Perez and Verstappen] have a lot more respect for each other than it may seem from the outside.
“We are both mature enough to know what is right and what is wrong and as long as that stays the case then I wouldn’t expect anything to change.”