Although he had an issue with his steering wheel, Sergio Perez has held up his hand for his disappointing Sunday at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Perez went from the hero of qualifying to one of the biggest losers come the grand prix, dropping from second on the grid to 11th at the chequered flag.
While his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen raced to the victory, Perez struggled to keep his RB16B pointing in the right direction at a wet Imola circuit.
He still managed to line up fourth after the red flag, but a mistake at the Villeneuve corner dropped him down to 14th.
Perez was left to rue what could have been.
“There’s not a lot to be said today, I messed up,” he said to Ziggo Sport.
“I’m very disappointed with myself and I’m very sorry for the team.”
He did, however, have a problem with his steering wheel, informing Red Bull early in the race that it was “moving by itself”.
The team changed it, leaving Perez with no excuses for his later off.
“We had an issue with it [the steering wheel] that it was changing all the time,” he said.
“It was moving around pretty much on its own and we had to change it.”
As for his mistake behind the Safety Car, the Mexican driver off at Piratella which allowed Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz through only for Perez to retake the positions earning him a 10-second penalty for passing under the Safety Car, he told reporters at Imola that he thought it was allowed.
Checo has been issued a 10 second stop-and-go penalty after overtaking under SC ?? #ImolaGP ?? pic.twitter.com/yGuxa6QXki
— Red Bull Racing Honda (@redbullracing) April 18, 2021
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“I lost the car under the Safety Car,” he explained. “I went off and just came back.
“Obviously I overtook those cars so I think the penalty was fair at the time.
“I thought like, ‘Okay, I made a mistake but I managed to keep my position’. But, certainly that’s not the case.”
Team boss Christian Horner has backed Perez to bounce back.
“I think that it’s just time in the seat,” Horner said as quoted by RaceFans. “He did a good job yesterday.
“Today was a messier race for him. Obviously the mistake behind the Safety Car early on, the 10-second penalty and then unfortunately the mistake behind the Ferraris at the restart was a shame because he would have scored, he could well have been on the podium today as well.
“It’s frustrating not to have him up there, but he’s certainly finding his pace, finding his feet, and I’m sure he’s going to have much stronger weekends ahead.”
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