SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team, had a hard-fought battle in Abu Dhabi as Sergio Pèrez was able to secure seventh place after battling in the midfield, luck was not on the side of his teammate Lance Stroll, as he was unable to finish the race again.
The team secured seventh in the constructors’ championship with seventy-three points, Stroll ended the season with twenty-one points in fifteenth and Pérez in tenth with fifty-two points.
Pèrez had a tough start for the race as he was caught up with Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver Pierre Gasly in Turn 1, which meant he lost some places. With the addition of the DRS issues the Mexican had it all to do in the opening stages.
“The first part of my race was a bit messy. I got a big hit from Gasly into Turn 1, which meant that I lost a position to Magnussen. ” said Pèrez
“Because the DRS wasn’t enabled at the start, we lost a bit of time behind him, but I managed to overtake even without DRS. After a long first stint, we had to push hard to catch up to the midfield group.”
Battling through the midfield after his pitstop in the final stages of the race, Pèrez was able to overtake McLaren F1 Team driver Lando Norris at turn eleven to secure tenth place in the championship.
“We had a very strong end to the race and my final lap overtake on Norris in Turn 11 was one of the best of my career.
“The six points we scored means that I have finished inside the top 10 in the Drivers’ Championship and I’m pleased we could do that. I cannot wait to start next season already.”
No Stroll in the park…
Stroll also had contact with Gasly, which led to him pitting on the first lap of the final race and it meant he was out of position from where he had started the race.
“I had contact on the first lap with Gasly and had to pit because of the damage to my front wing. After that, we were out of position, running down the order, and it was really hard to get back into contention.“
“We explored the strategy options and I stopped twice, but when you lose so much time early on by changing the front wing, it’s difficult to recover. Unfortunately, we had a brake issue so we have to see what went wrong because I was struggling to stop the car. That’s why we retired. All in all, just a disappointing race.”