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Sergio Perez Embarrasses Himself at Suzuka: Romain Grosjean Labeled Nutcase

SUZUKA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 07:  Sergio Perez of Mexico and Sauber F1 spins off during the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit on October 7, 2012 in Suzuka, Japan.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images
Craig ChristopherAnalyst IOctober 7, 2012

Sergio Perez found out the hard way that the realities of Formula One racing can bite hard as he threw away an opportunity for some good points at the Japanese Grand Prix.

While Perez was still basking in the glow of his meteoric rise to a seat in a leading team, his enthusiasm got the better of him with some adventurous overtaking attempts, the last of which saw him buried in the gravel trap at the hairpin.

Whether he had started to believe the stories that had been written about him or was trying too hard to prove to McLaren that they had made the right choice is unclear.

Whatever the case, McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh must be asking himself whether or not he made the right decision.

Lewis Hamilton, the driver who is making way for Perez, gave his verdict of Perez’ driving in The Times of India:

I thought that he was going to do a crazy manoeuvre, which he did, then (later) when he was behind me I saw it coming again so I moved a little to the inside, thinking that he was going to go up the inside so he couldn't get by, and he just flew down the outside of me. So very interesting...

In his defence, Perez knew he was at fault, ESPN F1 quotes him:

I feel very sorry for the team it worked well when I got past Lewis Hamilton for the first time on lap six, 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.

Perez wasn’t the only inexperienced driver who embarrassed himself today.

Romain Grosjean managed to take out Mark Webber in his seventh first-lap incident of the year. The incident led to Webber confronting the Lotus driver after the race and labeling him a nutcase in the media. ESPN F1 quotes Webber:

I haven't obviously seen what happened at the start but the guys confirmed that it was first-lap nutcase again, Grosjean. The rest of us are trying to fight for some decent results each weekend but he's trying to get to the third corner as fast as he can in every race. It makes it frustrating because a few big guys have suffered out there today. Anyway, maybe he needs another holiday.

At the other end of the scale, Sebastian Vettel took full toll of the fact that championship rival Fernando Alonso was taken out at the first corner, driving an imperious race to easily claim victory and close the gap in the championship to just four points.

That’s the difference that experience makes.

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