Perez: Clashes with Leclerc 'not the way I like to race'

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Sergio Perez was apologetic towards Charles Leclerc and said he was not comfortable with himself after clashing with the Ferrari driver and forcing him twice off the road in the Austrian Grand Prix.

Perez and Leclerc were locked in a tense midfield battle for P8 on lap 41 when the Scuderia charger tried to gain an upper hand over the Mexican on the outside of Turn 4 only to be pushed off the track.

The move cost Perez a five-second penalty but before heading to the pits to serve it he was forced to fend off another attack by the Monegasque, and again the Red Bull driver forced his rival off the road!

After the race, Perez apologized for the incidents, insisting he is "not that type of driver".

"With Charles I'm very sorry, because that's not the way I like to race," said a contrite Perez who finished Sunday's race sicth in the final standings.

"You know, I'm not that type of driver that races that way. We were on very dirty air, very hot tyres, very hot brakes. And we were just trying to brake as late as possible, obviously.

"I haven't seen the incidents, but I'm very sorry if I ended up affecting his race because Charles is a driver that races very hard, but always on the limit and I'm the same. So, I'm not happy with myself in that."

Perez said he had cleared the air with Leclerc right after the race and apologized.

"Yeah, basically, I said that what happened from my side but obviously it isn't enough.

"It's not nice when you have this type of issue, but he knows from my side that I'm not that type of driver and that I'm not comfortable with myself."

Although apologetic for his actions against Leclerc, Perez felt that he had been properly shoved off the track by McLaren's Lando Norris in the early stages of the race when the pair were dueling for second place. The Briton was duly handed a five-second penalty by the stewards.

"Yeah, well, basically with Norris it was lap 1," explained Perez. "He got away with it, he didn't have any damage. But obviously, next time can be very different.

"It's only lap one. I felt that I was ahead, and he just ran me out of the circuit, which wasn't fair enough in racing."

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