‘It’s like a victory!’ – Home hero Perez hails ‘great day’ for Racing Point after P7 finish
Sergio Perez sent his home crowd into raptures at the Mexican Grand Prix, resisting a late surge from Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo to finish ‘best of the rest’ in P7 – a result he said felt ‘like a victory’.
Starting from P11 – arguably the ideal grid spot for a midfield runner, given the free choice of start tyre he was afforded – Perez shed his medium rubber on Lap 20, before making a 51-lap stint on hards work for him, showing impressive pace in his Racing Point RP19 to close out a seventh-place finish, as team mate Lance Stroll ended up P12.
“This feels like a victory for us,” said Perez after the race. “This is a great day for me and my team.
“I think the race was just about perfect and I want to congratulate the entire team for all their hard work delivering this result. It’s extra special to score good points in my home race – in front of the fans who have given me so much support this week.”
The race was so intense – especially the battle against Daniel at the end
The flashpoint of Perez’s Mexican Grand Prix came on Lap 61, when he was unsuccessfully dive-bombed by Ricciardo, the Renault driver ending up overshooting at Turn 1.
After scrambling across the grass, Ricciardo actually managed to get ahead of Perez when he re-joined the track, but gentlemanly handed the position back immediately, before Perez held out to equal his best finish of seventh at home.
“The race was so intense, especially the battle against Daniel at the end, when he was on fresher tyres and putting big pressure on me,” said Perez. “I had to concentrate so hard and push right until the end. I’m very satisfied with our performance and the points we scored today are important for the fight in the teams’ championship.”
Indeed they are, with Perez’s six points in Mexico helping Racing Point draw level with Toro Rosso on 64 points in the constructors’ standings – the Italian team having lost one when Daniil Kvyat was handed a 10-second penalty after making last-lap contact with Ricciardo’s team mate Nico Hulkenberg.
Constructors' standings post-Mexico
|3 Red Bull Racing||341|
|6 Toro Rosso||64|
|7 Racing Point||64|
|8 Alfa Romeo Racing||35|
|9 Haas F1 Team||28|