Sergio Perez’s Silverstone race was an adventurous adventure. After being forced to stop for repairs, he was last on lap five, 37sec. At the end of the race, he was only 3.779 seconds behind race winner Carlos Sainz. Perez fought spectacularly on his way back to second place.
“A great comeback from Chico,” said Red Bull boss Christian Horner. A stroke of luck at the end of the race was pretty much all that went well for Red Bull at Silverstone. Perez’s second place is damage limiting, and teammate Max Verstappen finished only seventh with car damage.
Perez injured early at Silverstone
Perez’s first laps were still part of Red Bull’s disaster. Although he succeeded in the second start of the race and immediately found himself third behind Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc missed again immediately in the second hair turn. They both touched, pushing Perez into Sainz’s car, breaking his front wing on the right side.
“There wasn’t much room for three cars, and unfortunately it affected me so hard,” Perez says. After that he no longer had a grip on the front axle. On lap five, Red Bull decided to stop to fit a new wing. And that brought Perez back to the seventeenth and last place.
34 laps after that relatively lonely Perez turned his circles. When the midfield in front of him took a scheduled stop, he stayed outside, giving him the freedom to exploit Red Bull’s speed advantage. “In the end it was difficult, but as quickly as we tried to open a window,” Perez explains. So on lap 39 he was fourth, but had to stop again.
Red Bull planned to send Perez back to the ultimate enemy after the massive mission. The job was good to get back to the points. In the end, Perez would have fought for fifth place against Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris with the tire advantage. But then Red Bull finally got lucky – a safety car, launched by the uncontrollable Esteban Ocon in the Alps.
Perez fights Leclerc and Hamilton
“We’ve already decided to take part in the tour,” admits Christian Horner. However, the safety car suddenly stopped for Perez. Instead of losing positions, he stayed in fourth, and not only that: a 28-second break before disappearing. Suddenly he could see the leading trio of Sainz, Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton in front of him.
“And then the last laps were epic!” Cheers Perez. With Leclerc and Hamilton, he got involved in a long and difficult duel, which he eventually won. “Those laps really reminded me of the junior series. When we just drove the car, we had a lot of fun.”
It took a very long time to be able to contend for victory with Carlos Sainz, who was driving very far in front. But Perez can’t complain about second place: “Yes, it was a great comeback. We didn’t give up and kept pushing. Then there was an opportunity at the end and we took it.” So that Perez has the lead in The F1 world championship table extended to Charles Leclerc, cementing his second place behind teammate Verstappen.
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