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Perez "hurt" by safety car timing that cost victory

Perez "hurt" by safety car timing that cost victory

Perez "hurt" by safety car timing that cost victory

Perez "hurt" by safety car timing that cost victory
Ian Parkes & Topher Smith

Sergio Perez has conceded to feeling "hurt" by the timing of the safety car that ultimately cost the Mexican a shot at victory in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Perez had controlled the pace from pole position and was the first of the front-runners to pit for fresh tyres after Red Bull reacted to Charles Leclerc being instructed to pit to pass the Mexican.

This decision, however, came with an unexpected price after Nicholas Latifi caused the safety car to be called into action on the following lap, gifting the rest of the leading pack a cheap stop.

"[It was] just bad luck, bad timing [and] I felt I had the race under control then came this incident with Latifi," said Perez.

"Basically, it hurt me and came at the wrong point of the race for me. As a driver, there's nothing you can do.

"We had everything in place and plenty of margin for the undercut, unfortunately, we couldn't execute what we should have today.

"It's a bit painful in the car but this is racing. Going into the race, especially this kind of race as these things can happen, a bit of bad luck today."

"Right thing" to surrender P3 to Sainz

As the rest of the field pitted, Perez fought to make up lost ground before catching the safety car.

But as he rounded the first chicane, Carlos Sainz, who was exiting the pits, narrowly beat him to the safety car line.

Perez continued past the Spaniard but as soon as the race resumed, Red Bull conceded the position.

"The team told me to give it back, so I gave it back straight after the safety car," Perez explained.

"They had more information, inside the car you don't know exactly where you are for the safety car line.

"In that regard, I felt it was the right thing to do."

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