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F1 | Emilia Romagna GP | Perez at the end of a tough but enjoyable race: "Rule number one in these conditions is to finish"

Sergio Perez on his close fight to defend P2 from Leclerc this Sunday in Imola: a clean race and a good strategy that scored Red Bull a one-two finish.

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F1 | Emilia Romagna GP | Perez at the end of a tough but enjoyable race: "Rule number one in these conditions is to finish"
Fuente imagen: @RedBullracing

A weekend to remember for Red Bull at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Last time the team scored a one- two it was Daniel Ricciardo and a 19-year-old Max Verstappen closing the 2016 Malaysian GP ahead of everyone.

Six years later it’s reigning champion Verstappen claiming the win ahead of teammate Sergio Perez.

The Mexican has a very good start that put him ahead of Charles Leclerc who was P2 on the grid and was engaged in a tight chase for most of the race.

“It was a tough race but an enjoyable one. Rule number one in these conditions is to finish. It was difficult because in these conditions it is easy to make a mistake and put a foot wrong, but we managed a clean race and kept out of trouble, which was pretty important,” he said.

“I got a great start and the restart [after a Safety car was deployed to take Sainz’s F1-75 out of the gravel] was good too, then I think the Team did a great job with strategy out there.”

Leclerc was indeed very close to his RB18 - often going within 1s – and put him under a lot of pressure with a switch to Softs towards the end.

The Ferrari came out of the pits in front, but Perez managed to regain his P2 quickly on warmer tyres, a P2 that he kept until the chequered flag.

“On the intermediates I was really thinking to save the tyres but the degradation was high and Charles was really fast towards the end of that stint so I was happy to just keep him behind,” he explained.

A close battle between the two that ended with an extra pit stop for Leclerc, as he pushed his single-seater too far and took too much curb at the Variante Gresini sending it into a late spin.

“The race was pretty intense with Charles, he was always within an undercut range and when we thought we had him under control he boxed and made things a lot harder for both of us. We were both pushing with cold tyres and, in fairness to Charles, it was easy to make mistakes,” commented Perez.

“We have had such a difficult start to the season with reliability concerns and DNFs, so it was really important we brought it home today - it is a great result for the Team.”

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