Sergio Perez admits he was “very lucky” to only lose one position on the final lap of Formula 1’s Styrian Grand Prix after clashing with Alex Albon.

Perez turned in a remarkable recovery drive from 17th on the grid following a wet qualifying session to finish sixth in the second race to be held at the Red Bull Ring.

Having charged through the field, Perez attacked Red Bull driver Albon for fourth place on the penultimate lap but the pair made light contact, resulting in the Mexican picking up damage to his front wing. He was ultimately pipped to fifth at the flag by McLaren’s Lando Norris as he struggled for pace with the damage.

The Mexican, who felt he could have ended up out of the points altogether had there been an additional lap to complete, said he would not attempt the same move on Albon again in the future.

“We tried everything,” Perez said. “I went for it. I was pushing really hard on Albon I didn’t have opportunity other than the one I took.

"And unfortunately I touched [his wheel] at the wrong angle and that meant... basically I understeered a bit towards the exit [of Turn 4], I’m opening up the steering wheel while picking up the power and then I broke the half front wing.

“I was very lucky to [only] lose one position from that,” he added. “One more lap [and] we may have been out of the points. Luckily we managed to get the result.

“If I were in that situation again I would have not gone for it. I’m happy that we gave it all.”

Perez heaped praise on his Racing Point team for a “great recovery and fantastic strategy” en route to bouncing back from a difficult qualifying session that saw neither car make it into the top 10.

“I think it was a great recovery, great pace from the car," he explained. "I think the team did a fantastic strategy. We were all the way to P5, nearly P4 at the end.”

“I think we made a pretty good step from last weekend to this one. Obviously the car is pretty new in a lot of areas, we changed the concept totally so we’re learning from it.

“I think there was good understanding from it and we are definitely looking forward to Hungary.”

Perez headed teammate Lance Stroll, who believes his team’s performance in the Styrian Grand Prix shows it “debatably” has the second fastest car this year.

However, following the race, Renault lodged a formal protest concerning the agility of the team’s RP20 car, which closely resembles last year’s Mercedes W10.

The FIA stewards have declared the protest will be heard at a future date once evidence has been gathered.

 

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