Sergio Perez secured a great podium finish at the Sochi Autodrom, but the Mexican driver admitted he thought the chance had gone when both Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen overtook him on the penultimate lap of the race.
Perez had been running third after gambling on an early pit stop during the second safety car period, but fell to fifth with just over a lap of the race to go, but was overjoyed to see Bottas and Raikkonen hit each other to allow him back into third on the final lap.
The Sahara Force India driver had used the same set of tyres for more than forty laps of the Sochi circuit, and admitted he was unable to do anything more to defend his position.
“It feels great to be back on the podium and to be able to celebrate with my team,” said Perez. “I have been enjoying my time with the team so much and this is a great reward for all the work we have put in together.
“The call to pit under the safety car turned out to be very good because it gave us track position ahead of all the battles. With one lap to go, when Valtteri and Kimi passed me, it felt like this result had been taken from us.
“I was obviously disappointed but I also knew I had given all I could during the race. There was no more I could do because I had been on the same tyres for more than 40 laps.
“When I finally managed to get back into third it was just an amazing feeling. I am happy I was able to share this second podium with my team. It’s a very special result and one that fills me with expectation ahead of the races in Austin and especially Mexico City.”