The stewards deemed that the Mexican was to blame for the collision, which pitched both drivers heavily into the barrier, and handed him a five-place grid penalty for the next race in Austria.
Massa branded the Force India driver “dangerous” after the crash and Perez has now responded to the comments. “It was very disappointing to lose such a strong result through no fault of our own,” he said.
“I was following the same line and braking patterns as in the previous laps and I just got hit from behind by Massa. There was plenty of space on the left of my car to attempt a clean overtake and I cannot understand why he had to scrape by.”
Perez holds Massa responsible for the collision: “I watched several replays of the incident and I can’t help but notice how Felipe turns right just before he hits me. I can only think he must have changed his mind and wanted to rejoin the racing line, his misjudgement cost us a big amount of points.”
During the closing stages of the race, his VJM07 developed a brake issue. Rob Smedley, head of vehicle performance at Williams, said Force India should have retired the car but Perez disagrees.
“I’m not happy about comments saying we should have retired the car,” he said. “It was perfectly driveable with just some adjustments and we showed it up until the moment in which we were taken out.”
“Other cars out there had been in similar conditions for way longer than us and they finished the race without problems. If someone thinks you can keep two Red Bulls behind for as long as we did with so-called ‘terminal’ problems, they are clearly misguided.”
Force India shared the following message on Twitter: “We’re not used to air our grievances publicly. But when others do and accuse us of playing with others’ safety, we are compelled to reply.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic