Sergio Pérez came back from a disastrous build-up to the 2019 Italian Grand Prix to finish a remarkable seventh for the Racing Point F1 Team.
Pérez’s Monza weekend started with a bang as the Mexican backed his car into the tyre wall during the first free practice session, destroying the rear of his RP19. Things got worse come qualifying as for the second weekend in a row he suffered power unit failure in Q1, leaving him with an uphill struggle come race day.
Once a raft of grid penalties had been applied to the Monza starting grid, Pérez was eighteenth, a poor position exacerbated by team-mate Lance Stroll showing strong Racing Point pace with a top 10 qualifying performance.
While Stroll suffered with his own issues during the race, Pérez moved forward relentlessly. Aided by a strong race strategy and fortuitously timed pit-stop during a virtual safety car period, Pérez finished seventh, holding at bay Max Verstappen in the closing stages of the race.
“Another good result and we scored some important points today,” said Pérez. “It was a great recovery from what has been a difficult weekend in the lead up to the race, especially with the problems in qualifying.
“I think everything worked out for us in the end thanks to a strong strategy from the team and some good timing with the Virtual Safety Car.
“It was a tough race, especially the last 15 to 20 laps with Verstappen so close and putting me under pressure. We just had to push as much as we could.
“We’ve taken some good steps forward with the car recently and I’m optimistic going forward with more parts coming for Singapore. Hopefully, that will put us back into contention to keep scoring regular points from now until the end of the year.”
The six points gained from his seventh place in Monza sees Pérez move into thirteenth place in the drivers’ standings, eight points and two positions clear of team-mate Stroll. Racing Point meanwhile sit seventh in the constructors’ table, now just five points behind Scuderia Toro Rosso.