Sergio Perez described his third place in the Monaco Grand Prix as like a win for Force India.
Amid a chaotic race, Perez climbed from seventh on the grid to finish third, holding off Sebastian Vettel for the final stint. What made the result all the more remarkable was that Perez had no retirements ahead of him in the race and he says Force India took advantage of the conditions to secure the shock result.
“It’s definitely a very special podium,” Perez said. “To be in the podium in Monaco, under these conditions… because under normal conditions we wouldn’t make it to the podium in normal pace. We don’t have the pace to do it.
“Certainly in these conditions it is one of my best races in Formula One. Conditions out there were extremely difficult. So easy to make a mistake – at every corner towards the end, every single lap you have to be really focussed. In the dry! You cannot imagine in that damp conditions.”
And Perez says Force India got every strategy decision right to enable him to climb up to third position.
“The key… every stop that we had was key for our podium. The first one, by delaying it, I was coming into the pits to fit the Inter tyres and I ask in Turn 15 ‘how are the Inters doing?’ they told me ‘not that good, it’s your call.’ I decided I’d like to go a couple of laps more and that worked really well because we managed to jump Hülkenberg and another one. That really was key for our race.
“Then we came together with Sainz into the pits and my team did a fantastic stop, so we managed to overtake him in the pitlane and then the decisive moment was the last one. The last stop. Going to the slick tyre. Pitting one lap before Rosberg and Vettel we managed to jump them and that was very, very good.
“It was difficult to be out there on the slick tyre and not to make a mistake. Then towards the end I had pressure from Vettel. I knew it was going to be very long stint on the soft so I was looking after my tyres, especially in these cold conditions. It worked really well.
“I felt that I had Vettel under control, and it is a fantastic result. For the whole team. Everyone at my team deserves this one. I think we did the best job out there today. For us it means a win, y’know? So very, very pleased, and happy. Yeah, very happy.”
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