Sergio Perez blames Felipe Massa for their huge shunt at the Canadian GP
"Felipe turns right just before he hits me," Force India driver protests
By Mike Wise
Last Updated: 10/06/14 10:56am
Sergio Perez has blamed Felipe Massa for their huge shunt on the final lap of the Canadian GP, with the Force India driver claiming he’d left his Williams rival enough room to overtake.
Perez and Massa were disputing fourth place as they crossed the start-finish line at the start of lap 70. Funnelling right towards Turn 1, however, their cars touched with both spearing into crash barriers at high speed - Massa's Williams only just missing the third-placed Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel.
Stewards blamed Perez for the crash, saying that he had changed his racing line, and have hit the Force India driver with a five-place grid penalty for the upcoming Austrian GP.
Massa said that Perez "needs to learn" with the Mexican responding on Monday. "It was very disappointing to lose such a strong result through no fault of our own," Perez said. "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.
“I watched several replays of the incident and I can't help but notice how Felipe turns right just before he hits me. 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.
Both Perez and Massa, who were unable to present their cases to the stewards as they were undergoing medical checks at the time, took to social media to do so instead.
After starting 13th on the grid, Perez's one-stop tyre strategy had enabled him to challenge leader Nico Rosberg, whose Mercedes had slowed with power unit and braking problems, towards the end of the race.
However, the Force India then developed braking problems of its own and Perez was caught and passed by eventual winner Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel whilst he tried to fix the glitch.
He was then pursued by Massa but resented the suggestion made by Williams Head of Vehicle Performance Rob Smedley that he shouldn’t have been on track in the first place.
"Also, I'm not happy about comments saying we should have retired the car,” Perez added. “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.”