Sahara Force India F1 Team‘s Sergio Perez recovered from a difficult qualifying to take fifth place in an eventful Singapore Grand Prix.
Having struggled for pace around the demanding Marina Bay Street Circuit, Perez only started twelfth on the grid for the race, but soon made up ground after capitalising on the first lap crash that caused the retirements of Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.
At times, the Mexican looked as though he could challenge for fourth, but was ultimately stopped by Scuderia Toro Rosso‘s Carlos Sainz Jr, who achieved his best ever race result.
“I’m really pleased to come away from such a challenging evening with fifth place,” commented Perez.
“So many things happened during the race, especially on lap one when it was so difficult to see anything because of the spray.”
Perez felt that his position and chance for a podium was compromised by switching early to intermediate tyres behind the second safety car, which was triggered by Daniil Kvyat hitting the wall.
“I’m a little disappointed that we missed out on a podium because I think the second safety car period didn’t help our strategy,” admitted Perez.
“We started the race on the full wet tyre, but we had to switch early to the intermediate tyres under the Safety Car and I lost valuable track position.”
Perez also comprehensively beat his team-mate, Esteban Ocon, who could only manage a tenth place finish. The pair have had multiple collisions over the course of the season, but today, they were nowhere near each other on track.
“Even so, it’s still a great day and a good recovery after a difficult qualifying session yesterday. This result helps our fourth position in the championship and continues my record of always scoring points in Singapore.”