Sergio Pérez has praised his Racing Point Force India F1 Team following his remarkable comeback drive in the 2018 Italian Grand Prix.
Pérez was a surprise casualty of the Q2 knockout at Monza, missing out on progressing to the top 10 shoot-out by just one thousandth-of-a-second. The Mexican started fourteenth on the grid but progressed to eighth come the checkered flag on Sunday, despite mid-race contact with Kevin Magnussen.
“I am happy to come away from here with points, especially considering we were starting pretty far back on the grid,” said Pérez.
“Unfortunately, I had to carry really big damage for the whole of the race: I was in a battle with Kevin [Magnussen] and he cut the chicane twice when I had already passed him. He was not told to give the position back but I managed to get alongside him again at Lesmo.
“He just didn’t give me enough room and put me all the way to the inside. In such a fast corner, there was always going to be contact and it ended up damaging my car badly.
“I had lots of understeer so it was a very difficult race. Despite these problems, we had strong pace and I was right behind Esteban in the final part of the race as we both tried to get ahead of Grosjean.
“We didn’t quite manage to be ‘best of the rest’, but all things considered we did a good job today.”
Post race, the Haas F1 Team car of Romain Grosjean was excluded from the result, elevating both Force Indias, with Pérez trailing his team-mate in seventh.
The strong result comes just weeks after the team were rescued from administration. The points gained in Monza put the new Racing Point Force India seventh in the constructors’ championship, but that comes with a bitter-sweetness for Pérez who knows the team would be much higher were it not for the financial troubles earlier in the year.
“The results from the last two weeks show how strong this team is. We would be theoretically fourth in the championship and we are scoring good points. In Singapore we will get some upgrades, which hopefully means we can keep performing well in the final few races of the championship.”