Helmut Marko has not criticized Sergio Pérez’s action in the first round of the Mexican Grand Prix. The Red Bull Racing driver hoped to win in front of his home crowd, but things went wrong for the multiple race winner in the first corner. Max Verstappen ultimately managed to win the race, which is why there are mixed feelings at Red Bull. The same can be said about the results at sister team AlphaTauri.
Prior to the Grand Prix weekend, a lot was written about the Red Bull team. Pérez of course rode his home race, but there were also some concerns about the Mexican crowd. During the podium ceremony in Austin, Verstappen was whistled at and the name ‘Checo’ was chanted during the Dutch national anthem. However, Marko indicates that Red Bull and Verstappen were excellently received in Mexico City.
However, the race turned out to be a disappointment for the Pérez fans very early on. The Red Bull driver got off to an excellent start, but collided with Charles Leclerc in the first corner. Marko refrains from any criticism regarding Pérez’s action. “If you have such an extremely enthusiastic home crowd, then it is logical that you go for the win,” the Red Bull advisor is quoted by Motorsport.com. ‘I don’t think it was an all-or-nothing move either. I understand why he went for it in that position.’
It was still questionable whether Pérez could continue his way. The Mexican immediately dived into the pit lane and the Red Bull mechanics thoroughly examined the car. In the pit box the team seemed to be doing some repair work, but to no avail. ‘When he was still in his car in the pit box, he really wanted to continue, but that was no longer possible. Not only was there a large hole in the sidepod, but some essential parts of the car were also damaged.’
Criticism of Tsunoda
The mood at Red Bull’s sister team was also mixed after the race. Daniel Ricciardo scored points for AlphaTauri by crossing the line in seventh, while Yuki Tsunoda ultimately went home with zero points due to an incident with Oscar Piastri. The Japanese started at the back due to a grid penalty, but found himself in the points after the red flag. An overtake on Piastri went wrong, causing Tsunoda to lose points.
Marko is of course very complimentary about Ricciardo’s performance. ‘Daniel drove a super race. If the Grand Prix had been one lap longer, he would have caught Russell. It also shows how fast the AlphaTauri car can be today.” The Austrian saw that Tsunoda’s speed was also good. ‘Only he made not one but three stupid mistakes. He should have simply finished eighth,” is Marko’s conclusion.