One hundred and ninety grand prix: that's how much Sergio Perez had to wait before he could win a race. The Mexican debuted nine years ago with Sauber; after two season he switched to McLaren, but he only stayed with the Woking team for one season. From 2013 he started his journey with Force India, the same team he rescued from bankrupt, the same team where he has matured and became a driver worth of a top team. This team is now called Racing Point and Perez just gifted them with their first win in Formula 1.
Sakhir has gifted both Racing Point and Perez with a first victory: surely the Mexican has to thank the Mercedes pit crew for his success, but let's say it, Checo deserved to be a Formula 1 race winner. His name is now written in history as he is the 110th driver to ever win a grand prix.
The thing that surprises the most about this victory is the fact that next week Checo Perez will race in what will be his last race in formula 1. The are two roads open for the Racing Point driver: a sabbathical or a contract with Red Bull Racing.
The Austrian team should sign him as soon as possibile, but who knows if Max Verstappen will like to have such an aggressive team mate like Sergio Perez. Leaving such a driver out of the grid should not be legal: Perez proved, once again, how much he deserves a seat in Formula 1.
“I’m a bit speechless” Perez said before the podium ceremony, after he already broke to tears in the cockpit after the chequered flag.
The Mexican was involved in the first lap incident, which saw Leclerc and Verstappen retiring. He just spun, fallind down to the back of the grid, but climbed position after position on a two stop strategy.
“I hope I’m not dreaming, you know, because I dreamed so many years of being in this moment. Ten years, ten years it took me. Incredible. I mean, I don’t know what to say, you know”.
“After the first lap the race was again gone, same as last weekend” he said, after his engine failure during the Bahrain grand prix.
“But it was all about not giving up, recovering, going for it, just making the best of what you possibly could. This season the luck hasn’t been with us, but we finally got it"..
“I think today we won on merit - continued the mexican, who descriveb his RP20 as a limousine - yes the Mercs had some issues but in the end my pace was strong enough to hold George who did a fantastic race today.
“I did a big mistake during the [first] Safety Car, I locked up my front left tyre badly, so during my first stint I had so much vibrations throughout the stint. But as soon as I recovered onto the second stint I told my team this car feels just like a limousine, so easy without the vibrations. We had tremendous pace and I think we read pretty well the race throughout the weekend; we came here thinking it was going to be a two stop but straight after my long run on Friday we knew what we had to do today.”
“It just gives me a bit more peace with myself to be honest - he said on the speculations about his future - what happens is not so much in my hands at the moment, but I know and I want to keep going, so if I’m not in the grid next year I will be back in ’22".