Pérez ‘very sorry’ for early-race mistake
7 October 2012 – Sergio Pérez has apologised to Sauber for spinning himself out of contention in the Japanese Grand Prix. Attempting to pass Lewis Hamilton, whom he will replace at McLaren next year, the Mexican spun into the gravel at the Hairpin.
The incident occurred on Lap 19 as the duo were battling for sixth position, with Pérez having already overtaken Hamilton in the same place earlier in the race. Attempting the outside line, he lost grip after touching the grass and venturing onto the ‘marbles’ located on the outside of the corner.
“I feel very sorry for the team,” he said about his fourth retirement of the season. “It worked well when I got passed Lewis for the first time on Lap 6, but then it didn’t when I tried it again. Lewis went quite late to the inside and I had only room on the outside, but it certainly was my mistake. The race didn’t start too well for me, either, when Romain Grosjean caused a mess and I lost positions.”
Team-mate Kamui Kobayashi did manage to stay out of trouble, picking up a career-first podium in third place to the utter delight of the Japanese crowd. In the championship, Pérez now falls behind third-place finisher Felipe Massa.