• Japanese Grand Prix

Rosberg slams Perez for chicane clash

ESPN Staff
October 13, 2013 « Hulkenberg philosophical about lost places | 'I just can't believe my luck' - Hamilton »
Nico Rosberg and Sergio Perez nearly collided in the pits before making contact later in the race on track © Getty Images
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Nico Rosberg has blamed Sergio Perez for the contact the two drivers had at the final chicane towards the end of the Japanese Grand Prix.

After serving a drive-through penalty for being released into the path of Perez in the pit lane earlier in the race, Rosberg had to fight back through the field and eventually finished eighth. He attempted a passing move on Perez around the outside at the final chicane, but as he did so Perez moved back across on him and the two made contact.

Rosberg suffered front wing damage but Perez came off worse with a puncture that dropped him out of contention.

"It's not right what Perez did because the rules are clear, if you brake and close the door then you can't move out again," he said. "I was there and he didn't make space, but it worked out perfectly because he broke his tyre and I got through. It was a bit of a pity that I didn't get past [Esteban] Gutierrez in the end [for seventh], but as we know it's not so easy to pass a Sauber."

He admitted that his drive-through for a dangerous release from his first pit stop was fully deserved.

"It was well deserved and I knew it was coming too because it was obviously a dangerous release, it's just a pity that happened. From then on it was always going to be difficult because I just dropped back so much."

With team-mate Lewis Hamilton retiring from the race, Mercedes dropped 10 points behind Ferrari in the constructors' championship.

"A very bad day for the team and not ideal, but there are still plenty of races to go and we are still a bit stronger than Ferrari. I'm still confident we can make it happen."