Perez hits back at “misguided” criticism over crash

2014 Canadian Grand Prix

Sergio Perez, Force India, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014Sergio Perez has responded to criticism of his driving after his collision with Felipe Massa during the Canadian Grand Prix.

Perez was given a five-place grid penalty by the Canadian Grand Prix stewards following the last-lap crash which put both drivers out of the race.

“It was very disappointing to lose such a strong result through no fault of our own,” said Perez.

“I was following the same line and braking patterns as in the previous laps and I just got hit from behind by Massa. There was plenty of space on the left of my car to attempt a clean overtake and I cannot understand why he had to scrape by.”

Despite the verdict of the stewards, Perez said he holds Massa responsible for the collision.

“I watched several replays of the incident and I can’t help but notice how Felipe turns right just before he hits me,” Perez continued.

“I can only think he must have changed his mind and wanted to rejoin the racing line, his misjudgement cost us a big amount of points.”

The Force India driver also refuted claimed his car was in too poor a condition to finish the race.

“I’m not happy about comments saying we should have retired the car,” he said. “It was perfectly driveable with just some adjustments and we showed it up until the moment in which we were taken out.”

“Other cars out there had been in similar conditions for way longer than us and they finished the race without problems.

“If someone thinks you can keep two Red Bulls behind for as long as we did with so-called ‘terminal’ problems, they are clearly misguided.”

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171 comments on Perez hits back at “misguided” criticism over crash

  1. trmon said on 9th June 2014, 17:39

    “I was following the same line and braking patterns as in the previous laps”

    I’d like to see some onboard footage of his previous laps because I’m not totally sure about that statement, he takes a really strange line, to me it’s just a very late defensive attempt.

  2. Clive Allen (@clive-allen) said on 9th June 2014, 17:40

    It’s not the first time Massa has turned into a car that was ahead of him. Come to think of it, it’s not the first time the stewards have it dead wrong too…

      • sennafan said on 9th June 2014, 18:57

        Perez may be trying to make a move on vettel.

      • Clive Allen (@clive-allen) said on 9th June 2014, 19:18

        Your pics don’t show Massa’s turn to the right. Where the heck did he think he was going, with Perez right in front of him and to Massa’s right?

        • glue (@glue) said on 9th June 2014, 19:24

          It shows Perez not rounding the corner on the normal trajectory, veering into Massa’s path.

          • Clive Allen (@clive-allen) said on 9th June 2014, 19:38

            As the guy ahead, Perez is entitled to take any line he wants to through the corner. He did not veer left, he was heading in that direction all along. Any veering that was done was by Massa – a jink to the right, that could only take him into the back of Perez’s car.

          • regs (@regs) said on 11th June 2014, 14:39

            Perez changed his line coming out of Vettle before entering the corner. After apex he made a slight steering compensation – under 4 degrees. The car did moved some just 15-20 cm closer to Massa’s line when Massa pushed Perez to left by touching his left rear wheel. That’s all Massa’s fault for leaving Perez no place to act. He had more than 8-meter wide racing line. But he kept turning right into Perez even after apex.

      • Goldenbroon said on 9th June 2014, 20:02

        Time for Massa to call it day.
        He clearly should have won that race: With 10 laps to go, he had the freshest tyres and fastest car.
        All he had to do was pass the 2 red bulls – giving away at least 30kph on the straights; Perez who had no DRS and Rosburg who was dealing with being down 160bhp (apparently).
        You lot thinking Perez was at fault clearly have never raced before. There’s a car to my right, going slower than me…maybe I should turn right!!!??…eh, No!
        What a moron, Massa is past it, no longer knows how to race and is clearly a danger to the other drivers. Should be excluded from the next race…

  3. Leo B said on 9th June 2014, 17:49

    It’s obvious that Perez’s minor swerve to the left caused the collision.
    I wouldn’t blame him though, he was probably concentrating on Vettel and not aware of Massa’s charge.
    Massa is definetely not to blame at all. He took avoiding action (steered away to the left and slammed the brakes) just before the impact. (Clearly visible in the overhead video)
    As for Sergio’s comments, I don’t agree with him blaming Massa, but I wouldn’t have penalised him. It’s a typical racing incident, but the severity of the crashes probably urged the stewards to assign a penalty.

  4. dam00r (@dam00r) said on 9th June 2014, 17:52

    A following car never brakes right behind the car infront because of the risk of locking up and driving into him, that is why you brake slightly to the side of the car ahead to prevent that from happening. That is what Perez was doing. He knew that his brakes and tyres were not that good so he braked beside Vettels line. And also because right before the slight turn to the right before turn 1, Vettel took the wide line so Perez could not follow there and that is why he turned slightly to the left. I like you to read again what Perez said: “I can only think he must have changed his mind and wanted to rejoin the racing line, his misjudgement cost us a big amount of points.” Massa was not going to have time to make an overtake there so that’s why Massa rejoined the racing line but the braking zone was already there and Massa outbraked himself..

  5. David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 9th June 2014, 17:52

    I…think it’s a racing incident.

  6. dam00r (@dam00r) said on 9th June 2014, 17:53

    Massa would never had made the first corner without running ‘inside’ turn 2

  7. Droid Damudi (@droiddamudi) said on 9th June 2014, 17:53

    ““It was very disappointing to lose such a strong result through no fault of our own,” said Perez.”

    He’s kind of like maldanado, this guy won’t consider possibility that may be both were wrong.

    Perez initiated crash by going away from racing line towards middle of the road, in braking zone no less. He knows massa is right behind at that point, who had speed advantage with both traction and top speed along with braking performance of williams, and he still think nothing can go wrong if he just move without looking into mirror?

    I understand force India’s POV to defend their driver and position, but c’mon its common sense to not move or change line abruptly in braking zone, they must acknowledge perez mistake or he will keep in repeating it just like he did in mclaren, just like maldanado keep on doing.

    Thankfully grosjean did learn something.

    In my view its racing incident with perez to blame, but because of perez history with this type of move, he deserve penalty.

    • Rooney (@rojov123) said on 9th June 2014, 18:20

      Because of perez’s history? What about massa’s?

      • Droid Damudi (@droiddamudi) said on 10th June 2014, 18:02

        I don’t think massa has history in changing line in braking zone. On other hand perez did similar move a lot of time.

        Both driver are clumsy in my opinion, i’d say racing incident but perez need to understand certain driving etiquette and thus Penalty is deserved, its not very harsh either just 5 place grid drop.

        If i remember correctly massa received penalty for crashing with hamilton during 2011 Indian grandprix where he turn into hamilton’s mclaren.

  8. mateuss (@mateuss) said on 9th June 2014, 17:56

    I think both drivers were at fault. Massa had the responsibility as he was the car behind, and he also had to take into account that Perez was close behind Vettel and having brake problems on top of that, drivers try to avoid the “normal” racing line going in and out of corners when following even when everything is in order.

    I don’t agree with Perez’s analysis, but I agree he was not at fault, well, not the most at fault of the two anyway.

    Perez did not break the, as Alonso put it, “all the time you have to leave the space” rule. Nor did he move in the braking zone, not that they got that far. So I don’t see any offence was committed, just clumsy racing by both. Yeah Perez did not take the “normal” line that Massa was expecting, and Massa was turning right when he already had started passing Perez, who was going straight.

    I would also like to mention something important to anyone who makes or looks at one of those videos or gifs, that over-impose driver lines taken on top of the video feed. (Or wheel movement for the same matter)
    It is important to understand that as soon as there is the smallest contact like this, the car in front tends to rotate, so that can exaggerate the apparent movement prior contact. I have not yet seen one (I have seen quite a few of this incident) where this mistake is NOT made. Most of them analyse up to the point where Massa already has properly rammed his car into Perez. This is a general rule, this also happened all the time with the Vet-Web incident in Turkey, 2010. Annoys me.

  9. Martin (@aardvark) said on 9th June 2014, 18:08

    Massa had no chance whatsoever of overtaking at that point. His only option was to try and slot in behind Perez on the racing line. But he failed to brake sufficiently and moved into Perez before he was clear of Perez’s rear. If Perez had not jinked to the left Massa would still have hit him, IMO.

    100% Massa’s fault. Massa should be fined WDC points and they should be given to Perez.

    • Leo B said on 9th June 2014, 18:21

      This statement contradicts the video images.
      There’s a 20 meter rubber trail from Massa’s locked right front wheel visible before the place of impact. You can also see the Williams move to the left again at that point. I find it even applaudable that Massa reacted so quickly, since the time interval between Perez’s swerve and the moment of impact is probably less than a second.

  10. Jack (@jmc200) said on 9th June 2014, 18:09

    Not the first time Perez has closed his line too late, China last year with Di Resta and Kimi, Monaco with Kimi and Button, Spa with Romain… Also, people seem to be unwilling to remember that the reason Massa’s turning right is because that’s the way the track goes!

    • Droid Damudi (@droiddamudi) said on 10th June 2014, 18:14

      also monza 2013 with kimi, he was lucky kimi manage to brake into turn 1 while putting his left front on grass and damaging his wing and race, if it was massa in place of kimi it would have been heavy crash since it was monza level downforce, long straight(speed near 300kph or above) and no front downforce because of car infront.
      monza 2013 clip
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYigDYoChe4

      Look how perez just move to the left totally ignoring if he left space for other car or not. Remind me of spa 2012 crash where grosjean turn without care.(spa 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7452Y_-XKk)

    • Nickpkr251 said on 11th June 2014, 0:29

      Kimi lovers how many times Kimi has crash this season ? He loves to crash Mclaren’s mostly with Perez or not. This is the worst case against a Massa can’t make it stick, look at Riccardo a Vettel overtakes. Massa was in the other side in Monaco and his view was way different, he had to blame someone for his lack of knowing when to limit damage, I bet he would be happy with 5th now !

  11. rsp123 (@rsp123) said on 9th June 2014, 18:26

    One of the things that makes crashes like this so inevitable is the (very poor) line of sight that drivers have from the cockpit. I am surprised the teams have not found some technology that would help prevent this kind of thing. In particular, why don’t drivers wear head-mounted displays? The cameras could be placed up by the air intake, giving the driver a much better field of view. Data from the pits could also be projected, along with virtual guide lines, lap delta signals, and all sorts of other aids.

  12. evered7 (@evered7) said on 9th June 2014, 18:52

    Vettel was the one taking the correct racing line. Perez for some reason decided to turn left approaching the braking point. He might have seen Massa and tried to block him but it was late for him as he was already at his wheels.

    Perez probably saw Massa very late but should have been sensible and just left him by to gain some points. I am not sure Massa could have done anything more to avoid the situation. His only mistake was to not take Vettel when he had the chance at the back straight leading to the finish line.

  13. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 9th June 2014, 19:19

    Between this, the Bianchi/Chilton incident and Nico’s chicane-miss, I’m coming to the conclusion that the stewarding system could do with an overhaul. Introducing a driver ‘representative’ was a good step, but I don’t think its enough. Many accidents which once would have been dismissed as bad luck or just racing are now investigated and sporting penalties often given out. Presumably, this has to do with the sport’s business and commercial side taking over, rather than the old (rose-tinted) garagistas and gentlemen racers. Teams demanding penalties for others’ mistakes helps compensate them, hopefully minimising the commercial damage. This passes down to the drivers’ mentalities, too, and soon it feels like everyone is out to get everyone else. The same problem exists in feeder formulae. Accidents end up with penalties, whilst dangerous driving (Pastor, I’m looking your way) is overlooked or let off with a warning.

    For me, if a driver or team does something which unnecessarily endangers another person, or is intentionally unsporting in the eyes of the steward(s), then action should be taken. Stewards should always be able to justify their decisions, but if they believe a move was intentional (for example) and the team, telemetry and driver cannot categorically prove otherwise, then a ruling could be given. Driver penalties would be monetary, points on licenses and race bans, leaving races undisrupted and results decided on track. Team penalties could be fines or even resource restrictions (unsafe release loses you a set of tyres next race, anyone?). Removing grid and time penalties might also help dissuade other teams from aggressively campaigning for penalties, because there’s less to gain.

    As for the stewards themselves, I think an older ex-racer combined with a young up-and-comer and ex-sporting director would give the most balanced view, kept the same for each season, with a strong characters being essential.

  14. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 9th June 2014, 20:24

    It was a racing incident. I would put the blame at 60/40 Checo/Massa but that means they were both to blame. They both lost a lot of points so that should have been it.

    These constant penalties are rediculous. I can’t remember the last one that was deemed a racing incident!

  15. bigwilk said on 9th June 2014, 21:01

    I remember when Massa and Hamilton collided in India (Massa penalised, Hamilton attempting to pass) Massa was hissing with rage as he was just taking his racing line. I vaguely recall a few similar incidents. The guy has to get it through his head that he doesn’t have a divine right to the teaching line if there is another car there. Generally a defending car will move to the inside of a passing point, and by all means you can pass that person round the outside (Ricciardo did) but a passing car needs to make sure there is room, the defending car needs to give room only to someone that is already alongside. I don’t believe the track turning right is relevant because Perez would still have comfortably made the corner.

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