Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has stated that visibility issues during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix made the event “really dangerous” and has called for improved conditions in future races. Perez claimed that the lack of visibility in the final laps of the race made it difficult to control the car and could lead to serious accidents. The Mexican finished the event in fifth place despite starting from the pitlane, but believed that more progress could have been made if it wasn’t for strategy issues and the DRS train. He also stated that the team had resolved the issues with his car following a difficult qualifying session.
The multiple red flag delays during the race meant that the final restart was delayed, which may have contributed to the chain of incidents that led to the final red flag. Perez cited cold tyres as another factor in the first lap incidents that he was involved in, where he went across the grass and gravel at Turn 1 while avoiding Pierre Gasly. The incident was triggered by contact between Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso, which led to Gasly being edged out. Perez was fortunate to avoid being involved in a serious accident.
Perez started on the hard tyres, but a red flag after just six laps effectively negated that strategy by giving his rivals a chance to change their tyres for free. Perez admitted that he had to balance risk and reward while trying to make his way through the field, but was left frustrated with the gamble that he had to take with his tyre choices. He believed that the safety car intervention hurt his chances, as everyone went for the hard tyres and it put him out of sync with the rest of the pack.
Despite the difficulties that he faced during the race, Perez was pleased with the improvement in his car and acknowledged that the team had fixed the problems that occurred during qualifying. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner confirmed that the team had resolved the issue, although he played down its impact on qualifying. Horner also added that the brake balance problem was something that the team controlled within the car, and that engine running was not abnormal during that session. Overall, Perez felt that fifth place was the best that he could achieve given the circumstances of the race, but hoped for better conditions in future events.