Sahara Force India’s Sergio Perez has won the F1 Driver of the Day award in the European Grand Prix, where he secured his second podium finish of the season in third.
The Force India driver has picked his second podium finish of the season after a strong performance at the European Grand Prix in Baku. Perez said that he already knew a podium finish in Baku would be possible, but Perez admits that he had to work hard for the podium result. A five-place gearbox change penalty meant that he need to start the race from seventh place on the grid.
Perez qualified second for the race but started seventh on the grid after a five-place grid penalty was handed following a gearbox change on Saturday evening, as a result of his final practice crash.
Perez had made a strong start but following his pitstop, the Force India driver has come under intense pressure from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
But Perez managed to pull away as the Mercedes driver struggled with an engine issue and quickly closed with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, passing him on the last lap to secure the third place. Perez quickly climbed up to fourth and passed Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen for third on the final lap.
This is the second time Sergio Perez has been voted Driver of the Day. The Mexican driver has also won that award in Monaco, where he also finished third in the overall standing.
Sergio Perez said in a statement, via the Motorsport: “I knew that the podium was possible today, but we really had to work hard for it. The key to my race was the great start I made to get around a Williams [Massa] and a Toro Rosso [Kvyat]. Then, in the first stint, I was suffering from graining of my supsersoft tyres and we had to decide whether to wait for it to improve or to make an early stop. In the end, we stayed out longer, which was the right decision, but when I came out of the pits I struggled to warm-up the soft tyres and I was under big pressure from Lewis [Hamilton] behind.
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