Formula 1

Sergio Pérez: “It was a race where it was important not to give up”

3 Mins read
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

After a nightmare opening to the British Grand Prix on Sunday, the safety car came at the perfect moment for Sergio Pérez, with the Mexican capitalising to finish second behind Carlos Sainz Jr.

The Oracle Red Bull Racing driver suffered a damaged front wing on the opening lap after being hit by Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, and the pit stop to replace it saw him fall to the rear of the field.

He was making good progress and was fighting for points but was in need of a pit stop before the end of the race to switch tyre compounds.  Esteban Ocon’s stoppage brought out the safety car, and Pérez was able to stop for fresh soft tyres, enabling him to jump up to fourth at the restart.

Pérez was then involved in a great battle with Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton as they fought over the podium places, with the Mexican coming out on top to finish second, a superb recovery after falling to the back of the pack early on.

“It is a good day for us and the Team after such a messy weekend for us,” said Pérez. “Physically I wasn’t one hundred percent this week and after lap one I was last, so to come away with second place is a great result.

“I was so unlucky on the first lap making contact with Charles, I broke my front wing and had to drop to the back. So we had to fight for it and it feels good to have a result like this. I am also very happy for Carlos and to share his first win with him is a nice moment for him and his family.

“I enjoyed the racing today a lot, we were fighting hard and fair and it felt like my karting days. Everyone was pushing really hard and going wheel to wheel, my heartrate was pretty high on those last laps.

“It was a race where it was important not to give up.”

“I of course had hoped for more but today was just unlucky” – Max Verstappen

Team-mate Max Verstappen saw his winning run come to an end after the Dutchman ran over debris on track that saw his pace disappear whilst in the lead early on.

The debris cost Verstappen a lot of downforce and left his RB18 difficult to drive, meaning he was unable to show any kind of pace that would enable him to fight for the podium places.  Ultimately, he ended seventh and was left to fend off the challenge of Haas F1 Team’s Mick Schumacher across the closing laps.

“Seventh place is a good result considering the damage I had on the car and with Checo on the podium, we’ve scored some good points for the Team,” said Verstappen.  “I of course had hoped for more but today was just unlucky.

“I had a look at the car during the red flag and the whole of the underneath on the left-hand side was ruptured. I hit a huge piece of debris; I think it was carbon. As I was driving it felt like a puncture as I had no balance and a lot of oversteer.

“The car was a handful to drive, I tried to find a good aero balance but it was difficult.”

Verstappen reflected on the huge crash that caused a red flag on the opening lap at Silverstone, with the Dutchman thankful for the Halo and the crash protection of a Formula 1 car as both Zhou Guanyu and Alexander Albon escaped injury despite horrible looking incidents.

“I understand that Alex is having precautionary checks at the hospital, so I hope that he’s okay,” said the Dutchman.  “It’s never nice to see these things and today proved once again that the halo is a massive improvement for safety, I think without it Zhou would have been in a different state.”

Debris damage meant Max Verstappen could only finish seventh at Silverstone – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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