Sahara Force India F1 Team driver, Sergio Perez, says he would have finished the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix in a higher position, had he not been pushed wide by McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Fernando Alonso at the start.
As it was, the Mexican had to settle for ninth place, having lost position to Alonso and Williams Martini Racing driver Felipe Massa on that first lap, in an incident he was unable to recover from despite his best efforts.
“Things got quite complicated on lap one when Alonso pushed me wide at turn two. I was on the grass and lost another position to Massa. That was very costly for my race because I spent the whole afternoon trying to recover.”
Perez believes they definitely had the pace to beat both drivers, but high tyre wear in the heat made it extremely difficult to follow behind another car and effect a pass.
“We certainly had the pace to finish in seventh, but the very high track temperatures made things difficult because as soon as you tried to attack you suffered with massive tyre degradation. We tried to change our strategy to overcome things, but it wasn’t enough to recover the seventh place.”
Massa, Alonso and Perez were all within a second of each other in the final few laps of the race, and the trio battled it out to the chequered flag, with the Mexican unable to find a way past the Spaniard, and similarly Alonso was unable to overtake the Brazilian.
The force India driver believes had there been just one more lap, he could have made a move stick, but is happy to have finished in the points at the end of the day.
“In the final few laps I was very close to Massa and Alonso. Massa was quick in the final sector, while Alonso was fast through sector two and had the benefit of DRS to help him defend down the straights. Maybe if there had been one more lap it would have been enough to overtake them.
“Considering the way things unfolded, I’m happy with the result but not totally satisfied.”