Sergio Perez admits he was surprised he was able to recover to finish seventh at the Portuguese F1 Grand Prix after dropping to last place on the opening lap.

Having made a good start from fifth on the grid, Perez attempted to overtake Verstappen on the outside of Turn 4.

While attempting the overtake, he clipped Verstappen’s front wing forcing Perez into a spin and dropping him to the back of the field.

Despite his spin and early pit stop, the Mexican was able to recover to P7 to ensure Racing Point maintained P3 in the constructors’ championship ahead of McLaren and Renault.

Reflecting on the race, he said: “It was extremely busy, especially after lap one. I thought my race was lost we had a puncture, it just made it worse. We had to box. From there, we recovered and we had a tremendous first stint.

“I think we lacked a lot of information on the soft tyres. We could have done a bit with the setup to protect it a bit more towards the end. Just at the end, I just died completely, when I lost temperature [in the tyres], I couldn’t hold Gasly and Sainz.

“It was close, but still, when you consider where we were after lap one, it’s still a good result.

“I think I gave him enough space, but I have to see. It was a very difficult lap one, cold tyres, it was drizzling a bit.

“Especially the Mercedes, they were struggling a lot with the medium tyres. Bottas pushed him wide into two, I tried to on the outside but probably not enough space.”

Perez was running as high as fifth place in the closing stages but was overtaken by Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz into Turn 1 on consecutive laps.

The Mexican was handed a reprimand from the stewards for his stern defence of Gasly - his second of the season.

A third reprimand for Perez in 2020 will result in a ten-place grid penalty.

 

 

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