Jolyon Palmer thought Sergio Perez should have fought “a little bit harder” to try and snatch third place from Carlos Sainz in Miami.
Perez’s Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen won for the third time in as many race finishes this season at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix and was followed home by Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Sainz.
In fourth, just over two seconds behind the Spaniard, was Perez, whose chances had taken a knock on lap 20 of 57 when he reported an engine problem – it turned out to be a sensor issue which although quickly resolved, nevertheless left him down on horsepower.
Without that, Perez, who was also running fourth at that time, believes he could even have gone on to win – although that looked an unlikely prospect with his World Champion team-mate in command at the front.
🗣🇳🇱 'It was tough out there, so I'm very happy for the win.'
🗣🇲🇽 'I think today, we could've done a 1-2. I did all I could to be on the podium.'
Max and Checo react to the #MiamiGP
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) May 9, 2022
After the Safety Car had gone in on lap 47, Perez challenged Sainz a couple of times, firstly at the restart and again later when a lunging move just failed to come off. The Mexican had fresher tyres than Sainz having been the only one of the leading four to stop during the Safety Car period.
Yet former F1 driver Palmer still expected Perez to do more to try and finish on the podium, with the eventual positions leaving Red Bull trailing Ferrari by six points at the top of the Constructors’ Championship standings.
Speaking about the Safety Car restart on F1 TV, Palmer said: “It couldn’t have been any better for Checo, really – from fourth, he’s tried to fight with Carlos who had no grip.
“I think it was just tyre warm-up on used hards. He (Sainz) covered the inside and was right onto the dirty part of the track but Checo just couldn’t make it through there and he had to just wait, bide his time and he got a bit impatient later on.”
On Perez’s second overtaking attempt, Palmer added: “I think that was just classic impatience – ‘I’ve been sitting behind this Ferrari, I’ve got a faster car, I’m on the mediums, I’ll give it a go’. It just wasn’t to be.
“Overtaking wasn’t that easy. On the other hand, George Russell managed to pass Lewis [Hamilton] and he had much fresher mediums, a bit like Checo and Carlos Sainz ahead.
“I still thought Perez might come past Sainz. I still thought the difference on new mediums should be enough to come through, particularly when you saw what Verstappen was doing at the front looking pretty measured in the other Red Bull.
“He (Perez) had a bit of bad luck earlier in the race with the power and that dropped him back so maybe it could have been a bit different for him, but I was surprised he couldn’t fight a little bit harder.”
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