Sergio Perez has called decisions made by the race control towards the end of the Australian GP “dangerous”.
The Red Bull driver started the race from the pit lane following his exit from the first qualifying session that left him P20.
Pit lane start
The team made the decision to add power unit components into the ‘pool’ which meant the Mexican would then start from the exit lane.
Perez believed the visibility late in the race created “dangerous” conditions for the drivers as the setting sun created a glare on the visors.
The race length was almost doubled due to red multiple red flags, safety cars and VSC’s and so the conclusion was much later in the day than planned.
Red Flags aplenty
Race control decided with a handful of laps to go to red flag the race again and clear the debris caused by a Kevin Magnussen crash.
However, when the race resumed with just two racing laps remaining several cars were involved in incidents around the first three corners of the lap resulting in another red flag.
Confusion did abound regarding the correct racing restart procedure which saw the race eventually finish behind the safety car on the final lap.
Late sun again in Melbourne
Whilst Perez had profited from some of the chaos during the race moving through the order to finish P5, it was the decision to red flag the race and restart again late in the day that caused his wrath.
“It was really dangerous. First of all the warm up, but secondly, we could not see anything [because of the sun],” Perez told assembled media.
“We cannot race in these conditions anymore. One day, there’s going to be a big shunt. We cannot see anything.
“In the last three laps, we were just passengers where we don’t have any visibility.
“I had to avoid Gasly [at the final standing start], and there was no visibility going into Turn 1.”
Aussie GP has setting sun history
Perez has a short memory because when the Australian GP was the season opener, it was schedule to start at 5pm local time to provide for the core audience in Europe.
This year the start was 3pm local time but due to the race duration being almost doubled because of on track incidents, the final laps were run around the historic time the Grand Prix in Melbourne traditionally ended.
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"I can't believe what's happened in the end…"
Pierre Gasly reflects on the Australian Grand Prix pic.twitter.com/DYFskfTOLP
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) April 2, 2023