Perez took his first win for Red Bull in Baku in a chaotic afternoon that saw teammate Max Verstappen crash out due to a tyre failure.

The Mexican was ordered by his engineer to stop out on track immediately after taking the chequered flag, indicating a technical issue was imminent.

Speaking after taking his second career victory, Perez said: “I am so, so happy for today. The race, normally Baku is pretty crazy. First of all, I have to say I am very sorry for Max because he did a tremendous race and he really deserved the win.

“It would have been incredible to get that 1-2 for the team but at the end, it is a fantastic day for us. We were close to retiring the car but luckily we managed to finish the race. It was quite difficult all the way until the end.”

The race was red-flagged as a consequence of Verstappen’s shunt on the start-finish straight, forcing a second standing start.

Hamilton managed to get the jump on Perez but locked up both of his front tyres into Turn 1, handing the Red Bull driver the lead while Hamilton was forced to take to the escape road.

Explaining his race-long battle with Hamilton, Perez added: “He had pretty strong pace throughout the race. I think we had a bit of a slow stop as well so the overcut came a bit closer to him and he just pushed me from then onwards.

“I had the pressure from him pretty much since the beginning and then at the start, I had a poor start so he was alongside me but I was like ‘I am not going to miss it’, I broke as late as I possibly could and he did the same but it didn’t work for him. At least it’s a good day for the team.”

Perez’s first win of the season moves him into third in the drivers’ championship.




Loading Comments...