Red Bull joke Sergio Perez "had tequila" before blowing French GP podium spot

Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has laid into Sergio Perez after his failure to secure a podium finish at the French GP. The Mexican squandered P3 at Circuit Paul Ricard after George Russell outsmarted him late on.

The Mexican seemed off the pace throughout the weekend as teammateMax Verstappencruised to victory after Charles Leclerc crashed out. Perez, 32, was struggling to fend offGeorge Russellfor the final podium spot but was managing the threat until a virtual safety car was deployed.

Russell secured the final podium spot by producing a nifty move on Perez following the end of the virtual safety car. The 24-year-old appeared to be backing off the Red Bull just as the period was ending, but he then accelerated quickly and appeared to catch Perez napping as he was able to overtake him on the inside.

READ MORE: Red Bull chief accuses Sergio Perez of "sleeping" in damning French Grand Prix comments

Though Perez came back at Russell, the Briton held on to third place until the flag, prompting Marko to voice his displeasure at Perez losing the position. The 79-year-old F1 veteran was quoted bySueddeutsche saying about Perez: "Maybe he had tequila yesterday". He added: “It is very unfortunate that Checo was asleep at the restart. A certain third place was lost there."

Perez spoke to Sky Sports F1 and said it was not so much a case of him being caught napping, but rather he was unsure just exactly when the VSC would end.

"Difficult afternoon," he said. "First of all, we should have another podium. I don’t know what was going on with the Virtual Safety Car. I just got caught out with it, because it was telling me it was ending already from the exit of [Turn] 8.

"It ended up at the end of [Turn] 15. So there was something going on there and I got caught out with it." Russell, who secured his fourth podium of the season, explained how he pulled the sweet move off.

“I had to sort of pre-empt it [slowing before accelerating quickly] and it can go both ways,” Russell told Sky Sports F1. “I knew I had one opportunity when the VSC was ending and if you can time it right and you carry the momentum, you can just carry that through after the VSC.

“I think he may have been a little bit too quick and had to brake. So he’s braking, I’m accelerating and that gave me an opportunity.” Perez remains third in the driver's standings and is now just seven points adrift of second-place Leclerc, who suffered another retirement on Sunday.

George Russell has been remarkably consistent so far this season and remains 16 points ahead of sixth place Lewis Hamilton, who claimed P2 for the first time this campaign in his 300th Grand Prix.


  • Charles Leclerc crashes out of French GP while leading after losing car at 100mph turn

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  • Lewis Hamilton cools down with ice pop after completing French GP with broken water bottle

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