Perez “very pleased” to be back on the podium after strong drive at F1 Italian GP

Spread the love

Photo Credit: Oracle Red Bull Racing

It was a perfect Sunday for Sergio Perez, doing exactly what Red Bull want him to do, finish second to his number 1 teammate, World Champion Max Verstappen.

Starting in P5, it was a disappointing qualifying for Perez but Red Bull had confidence in their race pace, and their tyre management in comparison to direct rivals for this weekend in Ferrari. Tucking into P5 early on behind Russell, Perez was in a hard fight with the Mercedes for P4. Perez tried on a move on Russell lap after lap but the Englishman positioned his car perfectly into turn 1, defending like crazy. But the Mercedes was also struggling on his tyres. Perez, trying everything out braked himself into turn 1 on lap 14, but eventually on lap 15 Perez passed the Mercedes.

By lap 17 the Mexican was only 3.5 seconds off the Ferraris and closing in quickly. After going longer than the Ferraris in the first stint, Perez came out of the pits after his pit stop to be behind Sainz and Leclerc. By lap 32 Perez passed the Mobegasque driver, but his attempts to pass the Spaniard proved to be difficult as Perez outbraked himself on a number of occasions into turn 1. Perez at the time complained on the team radio about not being given racing room in turn 1. “He’s not leaving me any room man, c’mon, we can’t race like this,” said the Mexican.

Finally on lap 46 of 51 Perez got the move done on the main straight before turn 1 and cemented his position on the second step of the podium.

Speaking after the race Perez spoke about how it was a tight fight for the podium but it’s to be expected at this level for these positions.

“Yeah, it was, all the way through fighting, basically. First getting through George, which wasn’t very easy. Had to take the escape road into Turn Two a few times. Once I managed to clear him, the team told me to box but at the same lap. Carlos boxed, so I decided to stay out, thinking that we can extend a little bit more, to build a little bit more of a tyre delta, but then we were in the risk of undercut to George and we ended-up behind the Ferraris. And once Charles had the DRS from Carlos, it was very hard to put him under pressure.

“Towards 10, 11 laps, he lost the DRS from Carlos and that really made my race, you know? When I was able to pass I had some contacts, like, I think into Turn Four, I had no space, and ended up touching. Luckily there was no damage for any of us. And then with Carlos as well. It was another very tight fight but that’s expected for those positions.”

Perez spoke of his delight to be back on the podium after his issues in practice including crashing out in FP2.

“Very pleased – but we had a terrible Saturday in terms of the issues we had in FP3 with the car that really put us back in Qualifying. So, I think we could have a better starting position, which definitely will have put us a lot closer in the fight for victory.

“But certainly, we made a lot of progress, which is a positive thing. I think we’ve done very good set of directions, and then some work with the suspension as well. And I’m able to feel quite a lot more comfortable,” concluded Perez.