Perez consoled crying Racing Point colleagues after 'sad' Abu Dhabi DNF

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Sergio Perez revealed he had to console members of his Racing Point team after retiring from Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Starting 19th after taking new engine components, the Mexican was starting to make his way through the pack until he lost all power rounding the hotel section after just 10 laps.

It was a retirement which likely cost Racing Point third in the Constructors' Championship too, as McLaren finished fifth and sixth to end the year seven points ahead.

And for some, the disappointment of Perez ending his seven-year stint at the team by the side of the road was too much.

"I definitely feel sad, leaving the team in this way," he told Sky Sports.

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"Some of them were crying in the end so I told them we have to remember what happened last weekend, what happened in the entire season. It wasn't an easy year for us.

"We still managed to finish P4 in the Drivers' Championship, we missed two races with Covid, reliability issues hit us really hard this season and in the end, it is a shame we just missed out on P3 in the Constructors' Championship.

"Well done to McLaren, they deserved that, they have done a tremendous job with the car they had, the drivers delivered weekend after weekend so well done to them."

For Perez, his time at Force India/Racing Point is about much more than the sole win he claimed at Sakhir and the nine other podium finishes.

Indeed, it was he who back in 2018 triggered the administration process which saw Lance Stroll take over from Vijay Mallya as owner.

And while he now vacates his seat and potentially F1, Checo says the Silverstone-based squad always has a place in his heart.

"I am leaving very happy, I will always be very proud of my boys," he insisted. "Saving their jobs at the time was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

"That team will always be my favourite team in Formula 1 because they gave me all and I gave them back everything.

"I look forward to seeing them very successful. The future is looking bright for them so I look forward to seeing them win more races."