What a comeback for Sergio Perez! The Red Bull driver, starting in P6 after an underwhelming qualifying session, ended the Turkish GP in P3 for his third podium with the Austrian team.
The Mexican driver recalled the main points of his race in the post-race press conference, highlighting the importance of what happened in the first race lap:
"Good start, I thought I had lost it going into Turn 1 on the inside, then I think there was a contact between Gasly and Fernando, it was like three cars going into Turn 1, we weren't going to make it but in the end I got the position, it was tight over there."
After a good pit stop, he had to focus on race and tyre management to be sure of the final result.
"I didn't feel comfortable in the first stint with the car, it was very uncomfortable to drive actually, and I lost a lot on track. Then, in the second stint, it was all about pushing at the right time, doing those racers with the right experience to make sure that we got on the podium.”
“In the end, it was a good result for the team,” Perez summed up.
A key step in securing his second third place of the season was his strong defence on Lewis Hamilton, with the championship contender that had to be satisfied with P5 in the end.
“Lewis was closing in really fast, and at the time I was struggling quite a lot with my tyres. He was pretty fast, I thought he was just going to pass me and go, but that was a good fight. Obviously Lewis is a top driver and it was great to be racing with him.”
“It was important to keep him behind, for the championship and for my race.”
Perez was extremely satisfied with the race result as he didn’t have a good feeling with the car over the weekend:
“This podium is very special for me, because I was driving and I was so uncomfortable, I didn’t have any confidence with it[the car], and especially in the tyres takeoff, I didn’t have a lot of confidence because I was moving a lot.”
Just like in last year’s Sakhir GP, where he won the race after a first lap racing accident had put him in P20, tyre management was essential in getting to the podium:
“When I got on the new tyres it was all about managing, introducing progressively the tyres and that really made the difference.”
A special moment for all the team, Checo is all the more satisfied with how he returned on the podium, in such difficult racing conditions:
“Yeah, that was important. It was pretty hard, especially on Lap 15, that was so hard for me because I was so uncomfortable with the car, and once the degradation kicked in, it was really difficult to be comfortable with the car, I wasn’t really confident with the car and that makes things a lot bigger.
Back on the podium for the first time since Paul Ricard definitely would have everyone in the best mood, and the Red Bull driver hopes that there will be more to come in the 2021 season:
“I think the last three races we should have been on podium, but we have been so unlucky to be honest, it’s nice to be back on the podium, and especially today. I’m happy to be back on the podium and I’m sure that in the next six races I can be in it again.”
𝐓𝐮𝐫𝐤𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐃𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 for our second double podium of the season 🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/dzpgaz79Hc— Red Bull Racing Honda (@redbullracing) October 10, 2021