Perez and Mercedes’ George Russell fought for the final podium spot in the closing moments of Sunday’s Paul Ricard race.
With four circuits left, Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu went down at Turn 6, prompting the late virtual safety car request.
The VSC was terminated on lap 51 of 53, however Perez was caught off guard when he received a false information from the FIA informing him that racing would begin earlier than it actually did. This gave Russell the opportunity to displace the Red Bull driver from the final podium position.
The green flag must be displayed 10-15 seconds after the initial end message is provided, according to the rules of virtual safety vehicle intervals, however in this case, it took nearly a minute.
Perez remarked after finishing fourth on Sunday, “It was very terrible what occurred with the virtual safety car.”
“I went for it because I thought Turn 9 would be where it ended, but it didn’t. Then I received a notification stating that Turn 12 will be the final turn. I was also simply too close to it.
“It appears that George had new information and was better prepared to get ready for the restart.
To be honest, it’s a shame that the virtual safety vehicle affected the outcome. Though it shouldn’t have been the case today, it was.
The “message of VSC finishing” was completely false; something was going on because it was supposed to stop at Turn 9, but it actually ended at Turn 12.
Red Bull Racing RB18 driver Sergio Perez and Mercedes W13 driver George Russell in the pit lane
Steven Tee/ Motorsport Images provided the image.
Red Bull team owner Christian Horner wants to talk to the FIA about what happened since he thinks Perez would have been able to hold off Russell over the final three laps without the VSC problem.
Checo had a little more difficulty than usual this past weekend with tyre degradation, according to Horner.
And what made it frustrating for him was that there was a problem with the safety car, the VSC, in race control; they were unable to turn it off, so they had to reset.
Hamilton admits that an F1 water bottle failed in the article below. Leclerc admits to having a “very frustrating” French GP. French GP error After Leclerc crashes out of the French Grand Prix, Verstappen easily wins. “Just talking with him, he stated he wasn’t getting the delta in his car, so he was bang on his delta.
George either avoided it but was still inside the delta, or perhaps the information to the two automobiles was different.
“We need to investigate that. Yes, it was disappointing because I believe he had the speed to hold him off for a second podium.
“However, there are still crucial moments in both tournaments today.”
Luke Smith has further information.