Mid-race, this made Perez faster than his team-mate, and as he approached the rear wing of Verstappen, he radioed in: “Get me Max out of the way so I can overtake quickly… Why don’t you let me by? I have very fresh tyres. I can get by quickly…. We will compromise our race.”
He was kept behind Verstappen until the Dutchman made his third stop, promoting Perez to the lead. When the world champion came racing up behind his team-mate on fresh tyres, the team ordered its cars to make the switch to Perez’s vocal dismay.
“When you’re in the car, you have certain information and you know the team has a wider picture,” said Perez. “In the car at the time, it felt like we could have done a better job especially in the second stint [when Perez was stuck behind Verstappen], you know giving a better opportunity to the two-stop strategy to see if it could work or not.
“But it was clear that the three stop was the way forward. It was better to go that way.”
Perez’s 12-month contract expires at the end of the season but he says that he expects to agree an extension with the team. “As you know, it’s never easy to get a contract out of Helmut [Marko, Red Bull advisor] and Christian [Horner, team principal],” he said. “At the moment it is not the highest priority but I think we are both very happy and we should see that coming soon.”