Sergio Perez believed his German Grand Prix start was the worst of his Formula 1 career after dropping from ninth to sixteenth by the first corner, but the Sahara Force India driver was still able to finish in the points in tenth.
The Mexican racer praised his engineers for giving him the car and the strategy to make gains in the race, and rewarded the team by passing the McLaren of Fernando Alonso in the closing stages despite struggling with tyre degradation, which was high all afternoon.
Perez now goes into the summer break confident the team can have a strong end to the season as they battle Williams for fourth place in the Constructors’ championship.
“It’s safe to say today was the worst start in my whole career,” said Perez. “I had a lot of wheelspin at the start and dropped back to P16 – so it was a long fight back through the pack.
“The team had to think on their feet and tweak the strategy to get me back into a competitive position. Degradation was quite high, especially when following other cars, and I spent a lot of time in the middle of the race fighting with Fernando [Alonso].
“In the last few laps I was running out of tyres, but I knew Fernando was in a similar situation, so when I saw an opportunity I knew I had to take it. I honestly didn’t think we would score points after turn one, but we did it.
“We go on holiday now, proud of the incredible work we have done as a team in the first half of the season. I am confident we have a lot of good days ahead of us in the final nine races, but for now it’s important to get some rest.”