Perez denies McLaren used team orders at end of race

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Sergio Perez said he was not ordered to hold position behind Jenson Button in the closing stages of the Spanish Grand Prix.

“[I] just want to tell everyone, yesterday the radio message I had was all about to save the tire,” he wrote on Twitter on Monday. “Never a team order,” he added.

Heading into the latter stages of Sunday’s race Perez was told by his race engineer there was “definitely two places available to us if we can get to the end” and that those case belonged to Nico Rosberg and Perez’s team mate Button.

Several laps later he was reminded to preserve his tires, which were a concern for several drivers in the race.

Perez also Tweeted a picture showing his left-front tire was significantly damaged at the end of the race.

He and Button crossed swords in the previous race where Button claimed Perez was too aggressive in their battle for position on the track.

McLaren team management sat down with the two drivers to clear the air ahead of the Spanish race.

The fifth round of the season was a disappointing one for the team as their major upgrade package failed to bring them within range of the front running cars.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.