Sergio Perez was third at the end of the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix, but secured second in the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship, his first in his 13-year-career.
It is only Red Bull’s first one-two in the Drivers’ Standings, which made Perez proud, no to mention relieved even if he did not say it out loud, as delivering the runner up position behind teammate Max Verstappen could make his future with the team – under lot of speculation recently – more secure.
Perez drove well from 11th on the grid after a bad qualifying, and things seemed to take a turn to the worse at the start of the race when he rear-ended Valtteri Bottas who had collected a spinning Fernando Alonso at the start of the race.
However the Mexican could not prevail in his fight with Leclerc for second place and had to settle for the final step on the podium.
Reflecting on his race in Red Bull Racing‘s race report, Perez said: “It was a very intense race from the start, damaging my front wing, thinking everything was over.
“But then the pace on the hard during the first stint was tremendous and that really brought us back into the race. The safety car came at the right time for us and from then on we were looking good.
2023 was a tough one for the Red Bull driver
“I overtook Charles and I thought I was going to pull away from him but we were carrying a little bit too much wing on the car and I couldn’t,” he explained.
“It’s a shame I lost second place but we were lacking a little bit of top speed,” Perez lamented. “I am very proud to secure the Team’s first one-two in the Drivers’ Championship tonight, it’s a massive piece of history for us. It has been a very intense year, the highs in the year have been extremely high but the lows have been super low.
“As a driver and a human being to come back from those tough moments, is what I take the most from this season. Mentally it was very tough at times but we have managed to overcome all those issues and get the job done.
“Thanks to my Team and everyone who supported me,” the 33-year-old concluded.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner hailed Perez’s Las Vegas showing, he said: “Checo was brilliant today. Coming from a nose change at the back of the field, making his way up to eventually lead the race.
“He was so unlucky to lose out on second place but it was enough to see him secure second place in the Championship and we are extremely happy for him and the team,” Horner added.