Sergio Perez: “I could have kept fifth place without that spin at turn one”

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09.British Grand Prix, Sunday 10th July 2016. Silverstone, England. Credit: Sahara Force India

Sahara Force India driver Sergio Perez was pleased with his overall result at the 2016 British Grand Prix on Sunday, however the Mexican did feel that he could have finished higher up the order had it not been for an unfortunate spin at Turn 1, that nearly put an end to the 26-year-old’s race.

Many drivers were caught out by the slippery surface at the first corner, where damp patches remained for a substantial part of the race, even current world champion Lewis Hamilton was sent into a spin, as the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver got a wheel on the standing water.

Perez did well to keep going, and with all things considered, was happy with his sixth place finish, after looking out of sorts in comparison to his team-mate across the practice and qualifying sessions this weekend.

“It’s a very good result for the team, with two cars in the points, even if I feel I could have kept fifth place without that spin at turn one. When I had that moment I thought my race was over, but I managed to save it. However, I flat-spotted my tyres and that hurt me for the rest of the race in terms of degradation.

“I pushed hard to try to keep Raikkonen behind, and it was only when he passed me that I was able to take it easy and save the tyres. We had to do a very long stint on the mediums, which was a bit of a risk as degradation was quite high, but the team made the right calls at the right time and it paid off in the end.

“The conditions, especially in the first part of the race, were very tricky. You had a drying line, but as soon as you put a wheel on the damp parts, all the grip was gone. Just keeping the car facing in the right direction was an achievement.

“To come away with this many points after a weekend in which I hadn’t been very comfortable with the car is a big satisfaction and it makes up for the disappointment of last week.”

The result was a fantastic one for the Force India team, who also saw driver Nico Hulkenberg come home in seventh place, to take a double points score for the Silverstone based squad on home soil, as close rivals Williams Martini Racing faltered.