Red Bull Special Advisor Helmut Marko has criticised Sergio Perez after his botched overtake of George Russell on Lap 1 of the Austrian Grand Prix. Perez attempted to go around the outside of Russell as the two approached Turn 4 at the Red Bull Ring, but Russell's Mercedes ended up tagging Perez's Red Bull and sent the Mexican spinning into the gravel. Though Perez got going again, he was now dead last, and pulled in to the pits to retire on Lap 24, with his RB18 having taken too much damage from the initial hit. Russell was able to continue undamaged and would go on to finish fourth, though he was hit with a five-second time penalty for his part in the collision. Speaking after the race, Marko criticised Perez for attempting an overtake at Turn 4, saying he had been warned against such a move. "We said before the start: do not go around the outside in that corner. That is not possible," Marko told Sky Sport Germany. "This was just unnecessary. We've seen that before. It doesn't work. After that, the car was damaged and it made no sense to continue driving. "There was a lot of damage to the floor. He might have finished two laps behind, so it didn't make sense [to continue]. It was better to save the mileage."
Perez incident echoes Albon from 2020
Marko also referenced a near-identical incident in the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, when Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton tagged then-Red Bull driver Alex Albon as the Thai attempted a pass around the outside of the same corner. "I don't think Mercedes like it when our cars go around the outside in Turn 4!" Marko quipped. "It was a shame, because you saw that Checo was ahead [of Russell]. "It's almost a perfect imitation of the incident with Lewis and Albon a few years ago. "It's a shame we didn't get more space there." Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner added that Perez would have had the potential for a top-three finish had he not tangled with Russell. "Ferrari had a quicker car in the race today. On [tyre degradation] they were just better than us, but I think Checo would certainly have been on the podium," Horner told media including RacingNews365.com .