Perez Defends Desperate Overtake on Kvyat – “I had to try everything”

Force India’s Sergio Perez defends his aggressive and ill-timed overtaking maneuvers on Daniil Kvyat that took them both out of the race in Monaco.

Collisions are always a fun topic of discussion in Formula One. Rare is the case where a driver will openly admit fault to a mistake that they clearly made – look back no further than to Carlos Sainz’s vehement defence of his near broadside of Lance Stroll in China earlier this year to see an example. But now there’s a new incident that’s the talk of the town: Sergio Perez’s overtake attempt on Daniil Kvyat during the Monaco Grand Prix.

MONTMELO, SPAIN – MAY 12: Daniil Kvyat of Scuderia Toro Rosso and Russia during practice for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 12, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Perez attempted to edge himself in on the apex of Rascasse, and he seemed to have gained his slot until his front-left tire collided with Daniil’s right sidepod, terminating the Russian’s race shortly after. Although it looked as if Perez had managed to steal himself another top-10 finish, the Mexican driver was forced to retire from the race from the pit box due to damage his car sustained during his clash with Kvyat.

Kvyat wasn’t the only member of Toro Rosso that was upset. Toro Rosso’s team principal was understandably upset at the result of the attempted maneuvers, saying that the incident was 100% Perez’s fault:

“It was Checo’s fault. You don’t just drive in there like that. Just look at what is destroyed – the middle of the sidepod [on Kvyat’s car], the left-front wheel [on Perez’s].
You do not need to discuss the fault – it’s 100 percent Checo’s fault. You don’t do this. Until this incident, we were with both cars in the points.

All weekend, we had a very competitive car and Carlos showed a fantastic race, defending his sixth position, bringing it home. Daniil was there, too, but Perez took him out of the race.”

– Franz Tost

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 28: Daniil Kvyat of Russia driving the (26) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 on track during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 28, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Although the Toro Rosso team has earned the support of the race stewards – which handed Perez both time and driver card penalties – the Force India driver still maintains that his decision to attempt an overtake on Kvyat was the correct one in order to make up performance from an already dismal race:

“I saw a gap. I went for it, unfortunately there wasn’t enough room and we slightly touched, which meant it ruined his race and my race as well.

But to be totally honest, when I found myself in P10 on new tires, I knew I wasn’t going to go home happy if I didn’t try. So, I had to try everything.” – Sergio Perez

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – MAY 25: Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM10 on track during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Perez’s overtake can be labelled as desperate, but certainly necessary. At the end of the day, both drivers are competing in Formula One – and on Monaco of all tracks. If incredibly tight corners and aggressive overtakes aren’t what they’re expecting when they show up for race day, then they’re managers need to sit them down and have a word with them. It is highly unfortunate that the race ended for both drivers after such a small tap, but as they say: welcome to Monaco.