Perez and Mercedes’ George Russell fought for the final podium spot in the Paul Ricard race on Sunday.
Due to Zhou Guanyu’s mechanical failure at Turn 6 with four laps remaining, a virtual safety car was summoned.
Russell overtook Perez for the final podium slot on lap 51 of 53 after the VSC came to a conclusion, but the FIA sent Perez a false communication informing him that racing would begin earlier than it actually occurred.
In virtual safety vehicle times, the green flag must be exhibited 10-15 seconds after the initial end message is issued, but in this case, it took close to a minute.
Due to the virtual safety car’s tragic malfunction, Perez finished fourth in Sunday’s race.
“I was told it would stop at Turn 9, so I went for it, only to find that it didn’t. After then, I received notification that it will conclude at Turn 12. And I was just a little too near to it.
I think George was able to better prepare for the restart because he had access to new knowledge.”
“It’s a shame, to be honest, that the virtual safety car affected the outcome. It should not be the case, yet it was today.
Because it said it would end out of Turn 9 and it only ended out of Turn 12, “that [the message of VSC ending] was entirely inaccurate, there was something going on.”
Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, believes that Perez would have been able to hold off Russell in the final three laps without the VSC issue and wants to raise it with the FIA.
It was clear from the outset that Checo was having a tough time with [tyre] degradation this weekend.
When the VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) couldn’t be disabled, they had to perform a reset, which was frustrating for him.”
“I was just talking to him, and he stated his automobile wasn’t getting the delta, so he was banging on his delta.
Either George had a head start, but he wasn’t in the delta when it happened, or the data sent to each vehicle was different.
“That’s something we need to look at. It was a disappointment, since I believe he had the speed to hold him off and secure a double podium.
“However, today’s championship points are still essential.”
Luke Smith has contributed to this story with further reporting.