Ex-Formula 1 driver Pedro de La Rosa has brushed away suggestions that Sergio Perez crashed on purpose at the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year.
During the final laps of Q3, Perez spun at the Portier corner and blocked the track before being hit by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
The session was red-flagged and no driver was able to improve their times. Perez ended the session in third place ahead of team-mate Max Verstappen in fourth.
Following a team order debacle between the Red Bull pair at the Brazilian Grand Prix toward the end of the season, it was rumoured that Verstappen refused to hand Perez the position back as revenge for Monaco.
Some suggested that the Mexican driver lost control of his car during his qualifying lap in Monaco on purpose – a claim that Perez denies.
De la Rosa, who amassed over 100 grand prix starts during his career, has backed Perez up on the matter.
“I think that Checo [Perez] did nothing wrong in Monaco, he did nothing on purpose,” de la Rosa told motorsport.com.
“It is very difficult for him [if] a driver crashes on purpose. Another thing is that you park the car. But it’s not in the DNA of a driver to crash.”
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Red Bull enjoyed a dominant 2022 campaign en route to securing both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships with several rounds to spare.
However, the Sao Paulo fallout put a sour note on Red Bull’s successful campaign, with de la Rosa suggesting that the situation could’ve been handled better.
“I think that Verstappen, [if] asked the question now if he had done something different, if he had kept the same decision,” de La Rosa said.
“In the end, I don’t think it would have changed anything about the final result of the championship, but maybe it would have saved them a headache.”
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