Sergio Perez believed his performance during Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix was amongst the best of his career after making a single set of Soft tyres last an amazing 36 laps as he climbed from seventeenth on the grid to finish eighth.
The Sahara Force India driver made a pit stop on the opening lap of the race and then again on lap 25, but stayed on track thereafter, and felt his epic last stint was a big achievement.
“I am so happy about tonight’s performance; it surely ranks as one of the best races in my career,” said Perez. “To be able to do 36 laps on one set of soft tyres, in this heat, and to keep my position under pressure from [Daniil] Kvyat is a big achievement.
“Pitting on lap one put us behind Gutierrez and that impacted on our strategy: we lost a lot of time behind him and it was very hard on my tyres, which was not good for what was effectively a one-stop race.”
Perez allowed both Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen to pass him so they could run their own races in order to conserve his own tyre life, and then withstood the pressure of Daniil Kvyat over the closing laps for eighth.
“We knew stopping one time less than our rivals was the only way we could score points, so managing the tyres was crucial,” said Perez. “There was no point fighting with Fernando after his last stop: he was in a different race and I knew I couldn’t afford to destroy my tyres that early in the stint.
“It was the same with Max – on a day like this I had to race intelligently and pick my fights to make the strategy work. It’s a good result for the team and it puts us back in fourth place in the championship.
“It’s a shame that Nico’s [Hülkenberg] race finished so early, but we were able to score some good points on a difficult night.”