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Sergio Perez has been accused of lying at the Australian Grand Prix as Red Bull engineers could find no fault with his car. The Mexican suffered a nightmare Saturday in Melbourne with a string of incidents in FP3 before crashing out in qualifying.
The 33-year-old locked his front tyres at turn three in Q1 and was beached in the gravel, forcing him to abandon qualifying after setting no timed runs. It left Perez on the back row of the grid as team-mate and title rival Max Verstappen cruised to pole position.
Perez has since called out Red Bull over the incident as he branded the problem “unacceptable”. However, F1 analyst Peter Windsor has suggested Perez may not be telling the truth after he spoke to mechanics at the heart of Red Bull.
Speaking on his Youtube channel, Windsor explained: “Sergio [was] saying there was something wrong with the car, they didn’t fix it, the brake locking before qualifying happened again in qualifying.
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“The team, in the same press release, said, ‘we will be checking the car over and if there is anything wrong we will of course put it right’ – emphasis on the word ‘if’ for sure, and so it proved.
“They changed the brake pads in parc ferme but I spoke to a couple of the engineers and they both said absolutely nothing wrong with the car whatsoever.
“So Sergio, I think, [was] incorrect in saying that to the press, but that’s how he is and at the end of the day there was nothing wrong with that car.”
Perez has not talked about what the issue could be despite being asked by reporters after the session. Red Bull chief Helmut Marko blamed insecurities on the issue as he revealed the ex-Force India driver was “unsettled” heading into qualifying.
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However, he has since pointed the blame at a possible glitch with the engine braking system. Perez fought back to P5 on Sunday but the issue has allowed Verstappen to open up a comfortable advantage in the standings.
The Dutchman now leads the way by 15 points having picked up two wins from three races in 2023.
Windsor added: “Perez got Driver of the Day probably because, visually, coming through the field, finishing where he did [was] not too bad. But what was he doing coming through the field? He should have been on the front row anyway.”
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