SUZUKA, Japan (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg criticized Sergio Perez’s driving after a clash with McLaren’s Mexican driver on the track at Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix following a near-miss in the pitlane.
The German, in the Mercedes, was angered by Perez’s defensive tactics when he tried to overtake the Mexican for eighth place.
The two cars made contact, with the McLaren picking up a puncture and falling back down the field. Rosberg finished eighth, Perez 15th.
“It’s not good what he’s doing, we know he has issues,” Rosberg told reporters. “If you move once to block you have to move out of the way, the rules are clear.
“It was very good he punctured his tire and then it was just onward from there.”
Perez is in his first season at McLaren, after impressing with Sauber in 2012, and is fighting to keep his place with the team taking their time to confirm their lineup and looking at other options.
“I had such bad luck,” the Mexican said. “Things just didn’t go our way today. In fact, I think you could say that everything that could go wrong did go wrong.”
He and Rosberg almost collided in the pit lane earlier when Mercedes released the German into the path of the McLaren, with Rosberg collecting a drive-through penalty as a result, at the first pitstop.
“We’re normally a pretty reliable team in the pits and I don’t fully understand what happened yet but we will investigate and take any necessary actions,” principal Ross Brawn said.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by John O'Brien