Perez on the double overtake that gave him P3 in F1 Chinese GP Sprint: “I saw the opportunity and went for it”

Photo creditt: Red Bull Content Pool
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The return of the Chinese Grand Prix to the Formula 1 calendar after 5 years happened in style with a sprint race weekend that felt like pure uncertainty. The current championship leader and champion, Max Verstappen, started from the second row while his teammate would start from sixth place with a set of used Pirelli mediums.

Lando Norris’ mistake at turn 1 gifted the 34-year-old P5.

The Mexican drove a clean race until an important and exciting fight took place for third position, just midway to the 16/19 lap, when Sainz raced took the outside line at turn 7 and fought wheel to wheel with Fernando Alonso through to turn 9.

This battle finally benefited Pérez who took advantage of the Spaniards fighting for position; the Mexican finally managed to take third place at turn 10, leaving the Ferraris and the 42-year-old behind. Alonso had divebombed Sainz into turn 9 and they both slipped wide.

The Ferrari drivers continued the drama by fighting in fourth position [a fight that would be noted by the stewards] while Alonso’s Aston Martin abandoned the race due to a puncture, finally leaving Pérez with the last step of a podium that was completed by Hamilton’s Mercedes and an 8th victory for Max Verstappen in 13 sprint races in the category.

“It was really difficult to get through Carlos, through Fernando,” said the Pérez in his post-race interview.

“We were fighting hard, had a lot of degradation following each other, and yeah, at some point I also had to defend from Charles into turn 14, it went well and then I managed to get by Fernando and Carlos.

“They got a little bit too close and I saw the opportunity, went for it, and finished really close to Lewis.”

Looking at the championship standings, Sergio Pérez added 6 points to his total with his performance in the sprint, which sees him maintain second in the Drivers’ Championship.