Sergio Perez raced to a well-deserved podium finish in today’s Russian Grand Prix to score 15 world championship points. Teammate Nico Hulkenberg retired on lap one after spinning at turn two.
P3. Sergio Perez: “It feels great to be back on the podium and to be able to celebrate with my team. I have been enjoying my time with the team so much and this is a great reward for all the work we have put in together. The call to pit under the safety car turned out to be very good because it gave us track position ahead of all the battles. With one lap to go, when Valtteri (Bottas) and Kimi (Raikkonen) passed me, it felt like this result had been taken from us: I was obviously disappointed but I also knew I had given all I could during the race. There was no more I could do because I had been on the same tyres for more than 40 laps. When I finally managed to get back into third it was just an amazing feeling. I am happy I was able to share this second podium with my team. It’s a very special result and one that fills me with expectation ahead of the races in Austin and especially Mexico City.”
DNF. Nico Hulkenberg: “I didn’t have the best of starts, but then I was able to pick the ideal line on the approach to turn two. Unfortunately, I locked the rears going into turn two and, when that happens, you just end up in a spin. I hoped the whole field would get past without hitting me but unfortunately Ericsson got stuck with me and I couldn’t move away. The first lap is always a unique situation: I didn’t brake any later, but with cold tyres it’s really tricky and once the tyres locked there was nothing I could do to save it. It’s always a pity to go out at the start and it’s really frustrating because our pace seemed really good this weekend. I just want to move on and start thinking about the next race. At the same time I have to say well done to Checo because the podium is a great result for the team.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “We have to compliment the team on a great performance and a perfect strategy. Pitting Sergio under the safety car was an aggressive call, but it paid off. We knew we would be under pressure towards the end, but having track position was crucial and the events on the final lap vindicated our decision. Checo did a great job defending against Ricciardo first and Bottas later until the very final stages and then we had some good fortune on the final lap. The only blot on our copybook today was Nico’s accident at the start. It was unfortunate but he will bounce back in Austin. Our recent run of form is testament to the great job we have done over the last few months and it’s incredibly satisfying to deliver on the potential we have shown with a podium. We’re on target to consolidate our fifth position in the championship and that has to be our objective for the end of the season before we push hard to move forward next year.”