Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Istanbul Park, 2020

‘One more lap and my tyres would’ve exploded’ – Perez

2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez feared the tyres he finished the Turkish Grand Prix on wouldn’t have lasted another lap.

The Racing Point driver covered 47 laps of the 58-lap race on a single set of intermediates. After the race he said he was worried they would have “exploded” if he’d pushed them any further.

Perez secured his first podium of the 2020 season and equalled the best result of his career in a thrilling finish to the race which saw him fend off the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc in a dramatic final lap.

Although it made for a difficult end to his race, Perez said the decision to stay out secured him second place.

“That was key, really,” he said. “I told my team on the radio, I think one more lap on those tyres and I think they would’ve exploded.

“The vibrations were extremely bad towards the end. But I think that also made our race, looking after them in the beginning helped towards the end with the drying conditions. I think the team did a fantastic job in terms of strategy, reading the race.”

Perez ran second in the first half of the race behind team mate Lance Stroll. He came under sustained pressure from Max Verstappen for many laps until the Red Bull driver spun on the back straight while attempting to pass.

“With Max, I couldn’t see anything in my mirrors,” he said “My mirrors were full of fog. My engineer was telling me the gaps and so on. And then all of a sudden, I saw Max running wide and he disappeared.”

Perez stayed out after Stroll was brought in for a second set of intermediate tyres and was caught by the chasing Ferraris over the final laps of the race.

Perez said he wasn’t aware Leclerc was so close to him at the end of the race.

“So in the final lap it was a pretty good battle with him. He overtook me into turn nine and then I took him back into turn 11. It was a chaotic race, but a strong result for us.”

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2020 Turkish Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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24 comments on “‘One more lap and my tyres would’ve exploded’ – Perez”

  1. I think this was the best race Perez has ever done in F1, by a long way. His point of view might differ (drivers often say they have perfect races that go unnoticed), but he kept putting pressure on Stroll, even behind his spray, he kept reeling in with Verstappen and then Albon behind him. The fact that the only time he lost a position was with Hamilton at the very end shows Perez was going just as fast as the others, Max and Albon couldn’t find a way past because he too was closing in on Stroll at the time.

    His stretched that stint almost as much as Hamilton on a car that’s no where near the same level as that one. And never, ever put a foot wrong. I don’t remember any time where he went off line or anything, unlike the others (even Lewis).

    In any other circumstance, he’d have been undisputed star of the race.

    If this guy isn’t on the grid next year, it’ll be a major blow to the field’s overall quality.

    1. I don’t remember any time where he went off line or anything

      He did just as well. For instance when he went wide and lost the position Hamilton and later when missed the corner and lost the position to Leclerc.

    2. @fer-no65 Perez did run wide a couple of times at Turn 9 – I believe that part of the reason why Verstappen closed up before he made his mistake into Turn 11 was because Perez had run wide earlier on and lost some momentum, and he did briefly lose position to Leclerc on the final lap because he’d also run wide at that turn and allowed Leclerc to gain on him.

      Still, it was a quite impressive performance from him, and one that you would hope might give him a chance of a seat next year.

  2. Talk about writing your own job application during the race! Sergio Perez showed Red Bull what they’d be getting. Calm, consistent, good tyre preservation. Would give them strong team-mate to Max but also great opportunity to mix it up in terms of strategy vs Mercedes as he can make work well doing long stints.

      1. +100500!

    1. He was soundly outpaced by Button. I think he is an F1 journeyman, but would definitely like him on the grid next year.
      If he is anywhere near Max’s pace if they become teammates, it will highlight the hype around MV.

      1. Wrong time, wrong place at McLaren for Perez. I think a bit harsh to use that as benchmark for his performances in a top team.

      2. Perez won the qualy battle and begin to get better than Button at the end of the season…check the data…

    2. @gabf1 Absolutely, as Jolson Palmer commented in a certain podcast Perez is fourth in the Driver standings in a Racing Point, thirty points ahead of Albon. If he’s fourth in a Racing Point where would he be in a Red Bull?

      If Red Bull want to mount a challenge to Mercedes they need a Number Two driver that delivers, can compete with Bottas, provide cover for Verstappen and step in when Max is struggling and the opportunity presents. Imagine (stay with me…) Perez in a Red Bull today, he would have beaten Verstappen comfortably and (speculation alert!) won the race.

      1. Perez even missed a couple races due to COVID-19, didn’t he?

      2. Jon (@thestigsnerdycousin)
        16th November 2020, 17:04

        @ju88sy I completely agree! I really hope Red Bull sees all the same qualities. RB don’t need a #2 driver that competes with Max on pure speed, they need a #2 that will push the #1 driver hard enough and is good enough to make alternate strategies work.

        This race might as well have been designed for Checo. He’s soooo good at extending stints and taking advantage of varying track conditions. We shouldn’t forget that he was absolutely the #2 Racing Point driver today (Lance deserved to be #1 for this race bc of his position) and simply made the alternate strategy work so that RP still brings home as many points as possible when Lance struggled.

        TL:DR anyone that says Checo can’t compete with Max is missing the point of the team dynamic. Checos strengths (plus sub 2sec RB pit stops!) will force the Mercs to be super nervous every time they have to pit.

  3. Driver of the day for me. Racing for his future. Well done Perez!

  4. Indeed you could see his steering wheel shake on the on-board footage.

  5. Checo – you’re da monsta! The Driver of That Funky Day. Period. If you won’t have a sit in next season I’ll curse F1 to extinction!

    1. Perez is on His Prime! Currently one of the top 5 drivers in F1. Nearly no mistakes all season long, world champion consistency.

  6. Driver of the season!

    He’d slaughter Ham in that other Merc.

    1. Beat him from time to time, maybe. Slaughter, no way.

  7. Driver of the day for me.

  8. Splendid drive Checo!

  9. Horner must be drooling !

  10. Very strong race in a car that even Mercedes said was hard on its tyres

  11. Awsome drive by checo. Certainy 1 of the top 3 for me.

  12. Yesterday Sergio showed us his high level of driving.

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