Vijay Mallya has been impressed by the way Sergio Perez reacted to the controversial clash with Felipe Massa in Canada by finishing sixth in the Austrian Grand Prix.
Perez was blamed for the incident in Montreal and hit with a five-place grid penalty as a result for this weekend's race at the Red Bull Ring. Despite a new hearing in to the collision, Perez's punishment stood and he started the race from 15th on the grid. An impressive drive saw him climb through the field – leading at one stage – to finish sixth and Mallya told Crash.net
that Perez had delivered a “gutsy” performance.
“Very impressive,” Mallya said. “He also got the fastest lap. I think it shows that he is a very talented and skilled driver.
“I think he has taken it very well. I had a chat with him, I told him that it was very unfortunate in my view that he got penalised for no obvious fault of his. But he took it in his stride and I think he was quite determined that it would not affect his race. He showed it in lap one; he jumped five cars and nullified the penalty, which I think was a very gutsy move.”
While team-mate Nico Hulkenberg has scored on a more regular basis so far this season, Mallya said the lack of results from Perez on occasion had not been the result of any inconsistency.
“It's not a question of him being unsettled in any way, he's just had some bad luck. But he's a great driver and he approaches every race with a very positive frame of mind. He gives it his best. What happened in Canada I would not wish on anybody – let alone on the last lap – but otherwise he would have come away with a fair haul of points there too.
“[In Austria] he showed what is possible. He doesn't complain, he looks after his tyres – he's quick and looks after his tyres – he gives it his best. I've seen him race, he's had some serious challenges from behind and in front and he just takes them in his stride.”