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F1: New Team Radio Clips Show Sergio Perez Frustration With Team Orders In Barcelona

F1: New Team Radio Clips Show Sergio Perez Frustration With Team Orders In Barcelona
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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Sunday saw Max Verstappen take the lead of the F1 world championship after winning the Spanish Grand Prix, a race win he achieved with the help of his frustrated Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

Perez was also in contention for the win at the midway point of the race, after the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc was forced to retire from the lead with engine issues.

The Mexican driver was ultimately asked to move aside for his faster teammate Verstappen, a move that Perez described as "very unfair" over the team radio.

More team radio clips have emerged from Sunday's race, and some of Perez's messages have been compiled by F1 Unfiltered on YouTube. They lay bare the two time race winner's frustration with being asked to help Verstappen to the race win, despite his own strong pace.

The newly released radio messages seem to suggest that Perez's frustration stemmed from Red Bull going back on a promise made to him early in the race.

F1: Sergio Perez unhappy with Red Bull team during Spanish Grand Prix

Sergio Perez was hoping for a third F1 race win in Barcelona on Sunday, and showed some seriously strong pace in his efforts against the Mercedes of George Russell. Ultimately, a mixture of strong pace from his teammate Verstappen, and that old F1 scourge of team orders, combined to deny Perez the race win.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClDJah73kPs

Early on in the race, Verstappen made a mistake into turn four and drifted off track. He rejoined behind the Mercedes of George Russell in P2, and Perez in P3.

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Perez's race engineer Hugh Bird would then ask the Mexican to let Verstappen back through and attempt to overtake Russell before Verstappen's first pit stop. Crucially, Bird appeared to promise that Perez would be afforded the same treatment later in the race.

Bird (lap 11): Okay Checo, let Max have a shot, let him through before [turn] four.

Perez: Give me one more lap!

Bird: No, let's give him a shot now, we'll pay it back later.

Perez: Copy.

Bird: Thank you.

Sunday was the first F1 race in a long time where a three-stop strategy was the optimal one, and Red Bull took different approaches with both of their cars.

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With Perez on an alternate strategy to Verstappen, both cars were going to be racing with Russell at different stages, and cooperation was needed. Perez went for longer stints early in the race, and was on the slower medium tyre at an earlier stage of the race than Verstappen.

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When Perez made his first pit stop four laps after Verstappen, he was much faster than both the defending F1 champion and the Mercedes of Russell, and quickly caught both cars. When he did catch up to Verstappen, he expected the team to give the reverse order to what had come earlier in the race, but found the Red Bull strategists reluctant to let him past Verstappen.

Bird (lap 25): Okay, increase management for now. We'll build some temperature margin and use the temperature when we need it in the race.

Perez: Get me Max out of the way so I overtake [Russell] quickly.

Bird: Yeah, copy Checo. So build the temperature margin now, brakes are a bit on the warm side.

Bird (lap 26): Let's wait at two seconds [back from Verstappen]. We're in a different race from them.

Perez: Why don't you let me by? I have very fresh tyres, I can get by [Russell] quickly.

Bird: Build the margin on the tyre temps, build the margin on the brakes, we'll get our chance.

Perez: We will compromise our race, man.

Bird: We've got Leclerc slow at turn ten-

Perez: Come on guys, let me by!

Bird: You've still got fresher tyres, you'll get your shot.

Perez: I did help Max earlier, man. Come on.

Bird: Yeah, we know Checo.

The frustration of Perez was evident, as Red Bull appeared to go back on their earlier promise to help his strategy flourish.

After Verstappen pitted on lap 28, Perez moved past Russell within just three laps, and he was leading the race with less than 20 laps to go.

It was clear, however, that Red Bull's strategy was working in Verstappen's favour, and they ultimately asked "Checo" to let Max by for the race win - a decision Perez was very disappointed with.

Bird (lap 47): Okay, you're on a different strategy to Max. If he's quicker, let him through.

Perez: That's very unfair, but okay.

Bird (lap 48): Max is faster than us, we're just bringing it home from here.

Perez did, however, abide by the wishes of his Red Bull F1 team, and he would ultimately come home the second car in a Red Bull 1-2 finish.

Sergio Perez has certainly impressed during the early stages of the 2022 F1 season but, if many more races go the way of Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix, it is unlikely that he will contend for the drivers' title.

Many will say that Perez would have known when he signed for Red Bull that he would have to be comfortable with a role as the team's second driver.

For a man who spoke recently of his ever-lasting dream to win an F1 title, that will be scant consolation if incidents like Sunday's continue to occur.

SEE ALSO: Balls Remembers: When An Irishman Nearly Won The 1982 Monaco Grand Prix

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