18 November 2013
United States Grand Prix: Perez rewards support with points
Sergio Perez dedicated his seventh-place finish in the USGP to the hordes of fans supporting him around the Circuit of the Americas.
Sergio Perez brought a difficult week to a close with another handful of points towards his 2013 F1 tally, after a battling drive to seventh place in the United States Grand Prix.
The Mexican, who learned in the build-up to the Austin event that he was to be replaced in next season's McLaren line-up by WSbR champion Kevin Magnussen, started and finished the 56-lap race in exactly the same position, but had a frustrating time in between as he completed the race on a single pit-stop.
“To be honest, I was expecting to achieve a little bit more than seventh today,” he conceded, “On the opening lap, I managed to push past Fernando [Alonso], and the car initially felt pretty strong. After that, however, between about lap ten and lap 15, the tyre degradation started to kick in, and we struggled relative to the others around us. They seemed to be coping with the [tyre] deg[radation] a little bit better than we were.”
The Austin race is as close to a 'home' event for Perez and his many Mexican fans, and the driver – who is already being linked to a couple of rides next season – was quick to thank his supporters.
“I want to say a big 'thank you' to all my Mexican and American fans for the support they've shown me all weekend,” he confirmed, “They came here to watch me perform, and, while I would love with all my heart to have given them a better result than seventh, it was still amazing to have their support throughout what has been a difficult - but very special - weekend.”
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh acknowledged that, with little to choose between drivers in terms of strategy, it had been a tough afternoon for Perez, who nevertheless beat team-mate Jenson Button by three places.
“We opted to put both our drivers on early one-stop strategies in an attempt to allow them to undercut their nearest rivals, but, as things turned out, we failed to gain any advantage by doing that,” Whitmarsh admitted.
“That being the case, 'Checo' drove a solid and controlled race to come home seventh, which was the position from which he'd started the race, further underlining how difficult it was to overtake here today.”
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