Sergio Perez believes he is currently at his “peak” in Formula 1 and at “a very good level” in his career after clinching his first podium of the 2020 season at the Turkish Grand Prix.

The outgoing Racing Point driver held off a late attack from the charging Ferrari duo despite his tyres being on the verge of ‘exploding’ to finish second on the podium behind Lewis Hamilton in last Sunday’s treacherously wet race in Turkey. 

Perez’s ninth podium of his F1 career and his first trip to the rostrum since 2018 saw him jump up to fourth place in the world championship standings to join Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen as the only drivers to have reached triple figures so far this season. 

“I think from my side it’s been a good season but also Formula 1, it’s so much related to your car’s potential,” Perez said. 

“I think I’ve had very good seasons in the past but were not seen as a good year because of the car's potential. I was finishing seventh in the championship, a couple of times eighth, but I was still doing a good job, a tremendous job. 

"I think right now I’m at a very good level in my career, I think probably at my peak in terms of experience, understanding, communication-wise with the team as well. I’ve been awhile with the team so that also helps. 

“I think the season has been a bit up and down due to a lot of things, circumstances, some on track, some off track but still we’re getting our season on track and I’m sure this podium will help us to finish the last few races on a high.” 

Despite his impressive form this season, Perez’s options to stay on the grid for next year are running low and the Mexican admitted prior to the weekend that he could be forced to take a sabbatical from racing in 2021. 

Red Bull is currently weighing up whether to replace Alex Albon with a more experienced driver for next year, and Perez is seemingly holding out for a chance to land the seat. 

Asked whether he felt his podium could enhance his prospects of remaining in F1 next year, Perez replied: “I think as always you have to be delivering weekend after weekend and you are only as good as your last race, so it’s important to finish on a high. The rest is not in my hands.” 

 

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