Sergio Perez said the Bahrain Grand Prix had been a “perfect race” after climbing through the field to finish seventh.
The Force India driver started 18th on the grid after falling foul of yellow flags during Q1 yesterday and being knocked out.
“To finish seventh after starting from P18 is an amazing recovery and we can be very happy tonight,” said Perez.
“The first lap was very important for my race because I made up five places and was up in P13 by the end of lap one. I had great tyre life in the first stint; we stayed out as long as we could and the Safety Car played into our hands just when I needed to make a pit stop.”
“I think we made the most of every opportunity and the whole team – the engineers and the mechanics – played their part in executing a perfect race.”
Deputy team principal Bob Fernley said the appearance of the Safety Car was a mixed blessing for the team.
“Sergio was fortunate with the timing of the safety car, while Esteban [Ocon] lost ground, but that’s just the luck of the draw with a Safety Car,” he said.
“After a challenging qualifying session it’s very satisfying to get both cars into the points today. The team made all the right calls and Sergio and Esteban didn’t put a wheel out of place.”