Sergio Pérez probably wouldn’t have expected second place at the British Grand Prix after the second race start. The Red Bull driver damaged his front wing when he touched Charles Leclerc in turn four and had to pit.
As a result, the Mexican fell back to last place and was now more than 40 seconds behind the leaders. In the end, however, he was able to benefit from the safety car phase and overtake Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc on new soft tires.
“It was a great comeback,” said Pérez. “We didn’t give up and kept fighting. Then the chance came at the end and we took it.”
He assesses the incident on the first lap after the restart of the race as follows: “I was just crushed. Charles was on my inside, Max on the outside. My front wing was damaged quite badly, so I had to pit to change it and then drove in last place.”
“The medium tires held up pretty well though and we were lucky that the safety car came at the end which gave us a good opportunity to fight for the podium. The final laps then were a great battle with Lewis.”
“It’s been so long since we had such a good fight so gladly again. And also with Charles. He was very aggressive but fair and I’m sure the fans enjoyed it. It was epic final rounds that made me really reminded me of the junior series from before when we all raced like that and had a lot of fun.”
Pérez: Aerodynamic regulations go in the right direction
According to the Mexican, this shows that the new aerodynamic regulations of Formula 1 are going in the right direction: “We really had the feeling that we could fight hard and we were able to follow each other closely at the high speeds.”
“Even when I passed Lewis he caught me again because he was able to stay next to me. So it was really a very good race and I think it was a good test for this generation of cars.”
“We can follow each other and even if you lose a position you can win it back, so I think what we saw today in terms of those rules was great,” said Pérez.
Red Bull happy with Pérez
Before the safety car, he completed a total of 34 laps on the medium tire, once again demonstrating his ability as a tire whisperer: “It got difficult towards the end of the stint. But I kept the pace and tried to open a small gap. “
“I was fighting Fernando and Lando and trying to get a window on them. And then when the safety car came out it meant we were P4, so it was a good chance,” says Pérez.
Red Bull officials praise Pérez’s fighting spirit after his comeback. “He is then [nach der Kollision] drove an unobtrusive race. After the restart, when he suddenly noticed: ‘Hello, there’s still a win in there’, the Mexican woke up,” says motorsport consultant Helmut Marko on ServusTV.
“And he showed a fighting spirit there, unbelievable. He was also the fastest. We lost the fastest lap because Hamilton saw that he had no chance of third place. So he dropped back and charged the battery. But an incredible fighter from the Mexicans and that was definitely the best race he put in for us in the closing stages.”
Pérez shortens the gap to Verstappen
In the World Cup, he was able to make up some ground again due to Max Verstappen’s problems. According to Marko, there will not be a team order per Verstappen in the future either: “We don’t have a ranking, number 1 and number 2 pilot.”
“It’s very simple: If he wants to become world champion, he has to beat Max and that’s the problem. So from our point of view there are no inhibitions or anything.”
Team boss Christian Horner also praises Pérez’s attentiveness during the race: “Checo had a good start and behaved very carefully in turns two and three at the restart. The world championship is still so long that you can’t afford to do anything stupid. You have to take every point you can get.”