Sergio Perez had a good chance today to fight for victory while teammate Max Verstappen was recovering from the 14th place start. However, the champion would need only a handful of laps to get to the top and lead the race.
Checo admits he was hoping more and accepts the Dutchman was flying today through the traditional Belgian circuit.
“I really hoped for more. Today was a good opportunity but Max was just flying. He was on another planet and he was untouchable. Especially the first stint was quite poor in terms of degradation, but still it’s a very strong result for the team and I think we managed to get a lot of points today, which is important.”
The Mexican driver did not have the best start losing a few positions but in spite of all the chaos he managed to survive the first lap.
“There was a bit of chaos on lap one. I had a really poor start and I lost a few positions. I managed to get them all back in Turn 5. it was very hectic that lap one and a lot of contact.”
On the start he believes a problem with the clutch spoiled his plans to attack Carlos and get the first place.
“I think there was something with the clutch. As soon as I dropped, I just went straight into wheelspin and here it's very penalising, the tarmac is really rough at the start. I think normally here if you get a bad start it's probably one of the worst places to get it because the tarmac is so rough at the start.”
Perez praised the World Champion's astonishing recovery and believes Mercedes and Ferrari will be back in Zandvoort next weekend.
“The whole weekend, especially come the race, he was just on another level today. So that's great, great to have, you know, but I think it's very track specific. I think when we are back to Zandvoort we will have the Ferraris and Mercedes back into contention.”
With today´s result and another debacle for Leclerc and Ferrari, Perez is second in the championship.
The goal for Perez is to maximise and is aware things can change quickly during the next eight races.
“There’s still eight races to go, so anything can really happen. We will try to maximise. It's very important for us, the Constructors’ as well. So, I think, right now yeah, we are in a great position, but things can change fairly quickly. So, as a team, we want to maximise everything we possibly can, every weekend.”