Sergio Perez secured his first points of the 2016 Formula 1 season but felt that without the first lap puncture he could and should have done better than ninth position in the Russian Grand Prix.
The Sahara Force India driver had made a reasonable start, and had looked to jump into fifth position but for the puncture that caused him to drop to the rear of the field, from which he was only able to recover to ninth.
Perez felt he was unlucky to end that far down the order, believing a better result could have been possible had luck been on the Mexican’s side.
“It’s obviously good to come away with my first points of the year, but without the puncture on lap one the result today could have been so much better,” said Perez.
“I didn’t get the best start, but I found a good line going into turn two and I was ahead of [Daniel] Ricciardo and [Sebastian] Vettel coming out of the corner. Then I realised I had a puncture, which dropped me to the back of the field.
“After that it was a recovery drive and I managed to get back up to ninth place just behind [Romain] Grosjean. I had a quicker car and fresher tyres, but he had very good traction and I just couldn’t get close enough to make a move.
“It’s a shame not to score more points because we did everything right today, but we were just really unlucky. There are lots of positives to take away from this weekend – the great performance in qualifying and the strong race pace.
“The car is improving and we have some upgrades on the way so I’m feeling optimistic ahead of Barcelona.”