Mercedes development driver Esteban Gutierrez has shifted some blame for Sergio Perez’s crash at the Mexican Grand Prix to his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen.

Mexico’s homecoming hero, Perez, had high hopes for his race in Mexico City; however, it quickly turned into a nightmare as he collided with Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in a chaotic Turn 1 incident.

“Verstappen seized the opportunity to forge ahead, leaving his unfortunate compatriot to nurse his wounded RB19 back to the pits. Ultimately, Red Bull decided to cut short Perez’s race as their efforts to restore the car proved futile,” explained the situation.

An understandably disappointed Perez exited the cockpit far earlier than anticipated, leaving his home crowd disheartened.

“While fans and pundits around the world have suggested that an under-pressure Perez shouldn’t have gambled his entire race into Turn 1, fellow Mexican Gutierrez praised the Red Bull driver for his ambitious move,” the article quoted Gutierrez as saying, “It’s a pity for Perez and a pity for Mexico. I think he was really brave for trying that move. I mean, in that kind of situation, as a driver, when you get such a good start, you go all in sometimes. And that’s when you sometimes find yourself in that kind of situation.”

Gutierrez then went on to suggest Perez was unlucky and that Verstappen set off a chain reaction which caused the shunt.

“There was a bit of bad luck,” continued the driver. “An unlucky position there as well because Max moved a bit to the left and then squeezed Charles, and then, of course, Charles had nowhere to go. So, if you think about it, yes, it was probably a bit too aggressive. But yeah, it’s just a shame. But I’m sure he’ll recover quickly.”

The repercussions of this crash reverberate through the drivers’ standings, reigniting the battle for the second spot.

“Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton, who finished in second place, significantly closed the gap to Perez in the drivers’ championship race,” the article noted.

“The Mexican now leads Hamilton by 20 points, setting the stage for an intense championship showdown with only three races left on the calendar.”