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Mercedes driver blames Verstappen for Perez crash

Mercedes driver blames Verstappen for Perez crash

Mercedes driver blames Verstappen for Perez crash

Mercedes driver blames Verstappen for Perez crash

Mercedes development driver Esteban Gutierrez has shifted some blame for Sergio Perez's crash at the Mexcian Grand Prix to his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.

Mexico's homecoming hero, Perez, had high hopes for his race in Mexico City, however, it quickly turned into a nightmare as he collided with Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in a chaotic Turn 1 incident.

Verstappen seized the opportunity to forge ahead, leaving his unfortunate compatriot to nurse his wounded RB19 back to the pits. Ultimately, Red Bull decided to cut short Perez's race as their efforts to restore the car proved futile.

An understandably disappointed Perez exited the cockpit far earlier than anticipated, leaving his home crowd disheartened.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Verstappen setup quirk which allows Red Bull to make car even faster

Sergio Perez's Red Bull RB19 was launched into the air at Turn 1 in Mexico City
Verstappen capitalised on the crash, claiming his 16th win of the season

While fans and pundits around the world have suggested that an under pressure Perez shouldn't have gambled his entire race into Turn 1, fellow Mexican Gutierrez praised the Red Bull driver for his ambitious move.

"It's a pity for Perez and a pity for Mexico," said Gutierrez to the F1 Nation podcast after the race.

"I think he was really brave for trying that move. I mean, in that kind of situation, as a driver, when you get such a good start, you go all in sometimes. And that's when you sometimes find yourself in that kind of situation."

Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc made up the podium at the Mexican Grand Prix

Hometown hero horror

Gutierrez then went on to suggest Perez was unlucky and that Verstappen set off a chain reaction which caused the shunt.

"There was a bit of bad luck," continued the driver. "An unlucky position there as well because Max moved a bit to the left and then squeezed Charles, and then, of course, Charles had nowhere to go.

"So, if you think about it, yes, it was probably a bit too aggressive. But yeah, it's just a shame. But I'm sure he'll recover quickly."

The repercussions of this crash reverberate through the drivers' standings, reigniting the battle for the second spot.

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton, who finished in second place, significantly closed the gap to Perez in the drivers' championship race.

The Mexican now leads Hamilton by 20 points, setting the stage for an intense championship showdown with only three races left on the calendar.

READ MORE: Unstoppable Verstappen is a MAJOR PROBLEM for F1

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