Sergio Perez said there were no team orders from the Racing Point pitwall during Sunday’s Turkish GP when the Mexican was trailing teammate and race leader Lance Stroll.
After stunning the field in qualifying at Istanbul Park by clinching pole, Stroll stormed off the grid to lead last Sunday’s proceedings for the better part of 36 laps before a tyre graining issue put paid to the Canadian’s remarkable performance.
As Perez followed in his teammate’s tracks, he eventually overhauled his teammate who chose to pit for a fresh set of intermediate tyres. But the Mexican was clear no team order was ever sent over the air waves by his team.
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“No, we are in a very fight for third in the Constructors‘ [championship], and that’s really what matters to us,” Perez said.
“So it was all about getting both cars as high as possible. I think the lead car at the time was Lance and at that time, we thought the best was to stop.
“That didn’t work out for him, but in the end we managed to score good points. We outscored our competition and there’s still three very important races for us in the championship.”
Rather than following Stroll’s lead and pitting for a second set of inters, Perez – informed of his teammate’s graining issues – opted to extend his second stint for a massive 48 laps!
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However, the undertaking was a perilous exercise of survival according to the outgoing Racing Point charger.
“It was all about surviving on those inters, we were a bit stuck,” he admitted.
“We were expecting some more rain towards the end of the race, and at the same time we were suffering quite a bit with the inters.
“We were going through the graining phase, and I was able to control it after that. When he [Stroll] pitted, I was also [thinking of] the idea of trying another set because my set was pretty worn out.
“But then the team informed me that he grained straight away, and the pace was not coming so we decided to stay out.
“But in hindsight, probably, even how much we suffered in the final laps, we probably could have pitted for another set.”
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