Sergio Perez thought his tyres were going to “explode” as he nursed them to a P2 finish at the Turkish Grand Prix.
While his team-mate Lance Stroll struggled terribly on the intermediate tyres after leading early on at a rain-soaked Istanbul Park, Perez was able to find the secret to keeping them in great shape, a specialty of the Mexican racer.
Perez was just about able to hold off the dueling Ferrari’s behind to cross the line P2, a ninth podium of his career, but Perez worried that his intermediate tyres were going to “explode” as he clocked up 47 laps on them.
“I told my team on the radio, I think one more lap on those tyres and they would have exploded,” he told reporters after the Turkish Grand Prix.
“The vibrations were extremely bad towards the end, but I think it also made that race, looking after them in the beginning [and] towards the end with drying conditions.
“The team did a fantastic job in terms of strategy reading the race, Lewis today was extremely strong, and towards the end we died, but we managed to get a good result.”
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was beating himself up after his error in the final few corners let Perez back into P2 and Leclerc’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel into the final podium spot.
“With Charles I wasn’t aware that he was so close to me,” Perez explained.
“So in the final lap it was a pretty good battle with him. He overtook me into turn 10, and then I overtook him back into 12. It was a chaotic race!”
Go get 'em, @SChecoPerez ??#TurkishGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/aUQm2DCYqQ
— BWT Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) November 15, 2020
Get your hands on the official Racing Point 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store
Perez of course doesn’t have a drive right now for 2021.
His seat at Racing Point, to be known as Aston Martin from next year, will go to the P3 finisher in Turkey Vettel.
Red Bull seem the last option for Perez if he is to avoid watching Formula 1 from the “couch” in 2021, but he didn’t think that P2 finish specifically will raise his stock.
Instead he feels it’s about delivering in every race.
“I think as always you know you have to be delivering weekend after weekend, you are as good as your last race, so it’s important to finish on a high. The rest is not in my hands,” he said.
The result saw Perez rise to P4 in the Drivers’ Championship as he continues his streak of finishing in the points at every race this season, while Racing Point are now back up to P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.
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