Perez adamant: Monaco Q3 crash was 'not done on purpose'


Red Bull's Sergio Perez has strongly rejected claims that his crash in Q3 in Monaco last May was deliberate, the Mexican responding to allegations that emerged last weekend after the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Perez's crash at Portier in the closing minutes of Monaco Grand Prix qualifying was revisited this week in the wake of the team order row that opposed the Mexican and teammate Max Verstappen in the closing laps at Interlagos.

It was suggested that Verstappen refused to comply with Red Bull's order to let Perez overtake him as pay-back for the latter's deliberate action in qualifying in Monaco, the timing of which ruined Verstappen's final effort to snatch pole from his Red Bull teammate.

But in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, queried on the incident and asked point-blank if he had crashed on purpose, Perez rubbished the speculation, insisting his off had been the result of him "giving it everything" in the session.

"Everyone makes mistakes in Monaco, he said. "And you can see - I mean, these days you have all the information, and you can go and see it already. I nearly crashed into Turn 1.

"Everyone makes mistakes in Monaco in general places in qualifying. And it's not like it was done on purpose.

"I mean, I'm chasing the lap time in Monaco. You can review the whole lap, you can already see that I nearly crashed in Turn 1, I'm just giving it everything, it's the last run of Q3.

"And yeah, people just make mistakes. And that's really it when you're chasing the lap time.

"But you can already see that from Turn 1, I was playing with the throttle, because it was where I was losing the lap time. And you can see already into Turn 1 that I nearly lost it already."

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Whether Perez crashed on purpose or not is practically irrelevant. What mattered was whether Verstappen believed that some sort of foul play had been involved or not.

"We have discussed what happened in Sao Paulo internally," he said.

"We have agreed that in the benefit of the team, this should remain internal. And it's best, so we don't open any speculation and we are able to move on.

"We are able to be the team we used to be, united and strong. And that's the priority of the team, we want to put all of this behind us and then just move forwards."

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