Smedley: Force India should have retired Pérez
9 June 2014 – Rob Smedley, Williams' Head of Performance Engineering, says the Force India team acted recklessly by failing to retire Sergio Pérez's car from the Canadian Grand Prix amid his late-race technical issues.
Pérez, who was battling brake and electrical problems at the time, dramatically tangled with Felipe Massa on the run down to the first corner on the final lap of Sunday afternoon's race, leading to a mammoth accident.
Reflecting on the situation, Smedley says it was dangerous of his rivals to leave a struggling car on track.
"I think from about Lap 67 [of 70] – that's when we got the [team radio] transcript but it may have been broadcast earlier – they were talking about having no rear brakes," Smedley explained to the gathered media.
"'I've got no rear brakes was [Perez's] comment. They said: 'If you can carry on, carry on. But if you can't, pit'.
"That it is fairly f*****g terminal. Why you leave a car out when you've got that sort of problem is beyond me."
Smedley added that both Williams and Mercedes were more responsible when they hit trouble, with Valtteri Bottas told to back off due to overheating brakes and Lewis Hamilton's car being retired for a similar issue.
"Today you saw two teams – one of which was ours – call it quits," Smedley went on to explain. "In our case it was Valtteri and we told him to back off, saving brakes and saving the engine. Also Lewis Hamilton, because of his brake and engine problems, had to stop the car. And that's a guy fighting for the World Championship.
"I'm a bit peeved to say the least. Felipe registered 27G [in the crash] and I think we are all relieved that both of them are all right, as it doesn't bear thinking about what can happen in silly accidents like that. We were lucky not have someone seriously hurt and lucky not to have collected Sebastian [Vettel] in a side-on accident."