Sergio Perez credited his team’s strategy of starting him on the hard compound tyres for making his way from ninth to third in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Perez had begun to catch second-placed Lando Norris in the closing stages, but fell back from the McLaren after catching backmarkers, eventually settling for third by the finish.
“We got close to P2,” said Perez. “Unfortunately we had to go through a lot of backmarkers.”
Making progress was difficult due to the lack of grip in places, said Perez. “The track was unbelievably dirty off-line, so in the last laps I got some pick-up going through the backmarkers and that meant that I lost a few seconds.
“Then I recovered towards the end, but it was too late. But overall I think it was a great strategy by the team and we managed to have an excellent result.”
It was only the second podium appearance for Perez in the last six rounds, during which time his team mate Max Verstappen has won every race. Perez said his recovery from ninth to the podium would give him confidence heading into the second half of the season.
“I think this sort of performance, these sorts of days, do help,” he said. “And from now on, I just look forward to basically being on the podium every single weekend. So let’s keep it up.”
Perez’s battle with Piastri in the later laps saw the McLaren driver run off the track at the exit of turn two. The stewards noted the incident but decided that no further investigation was necessary.
“We were on very similar age tyres,” Perez explained. “Basically we pitted on the same lap, so we were on fresh tyres. I went for it around the outside, we touched into turn one and into turn two we touched again. So it was a little bit close, but hard racing all the same.”
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2023 Hungarian Grand Prix
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- Why Ricciardo says McLaren’s car “speaks Lando’s language” – but Norris disagrees
- Mercedes reveal cooling error behind loss of pace in Hungarian GP
- Perez answered critics in Hungary but needs to qualify better – Horner