Perez comes home ‘best of the rest’ in Sochi, just misses podium

The BWT Racing Point team, partnered by Acronis, consolidated its fourth place in the constructors’ championship standings thanks to another fine drive by Sergio Perez.

Employing a successful one-stop strategy and switching from soft to hard compound tyres on lap 20, the Mexican came home in fourth position.

“We got the absolute maximum out of the car today and P4 was the best result we could achieve, so I’m very happy,” said Perez in his team’s post-race debrief. “The first stint was absolutely key. We knew the start would be difficult on the dirty side of the grid, but I was disappointed to lose two places to the Renaults off the line. I think we were very similar on pace to them, so the fact we were able to conserve the tyre so well in the opening stint and get back ahead of them was crucial – and we did a great job to execute that strategy.

“We can go into the next race on a real high, and I’m looking forward to getting the upgrade soon and aiming for more great results in the coming races. We have a strong car this year and I’m enjoying driving it.”

Of course, it could have been much better for the team had Lance Stroll not been punted out of the race by Charles Leclerc on the opening lap, having made up five places off the grid.

“I made a great start to the race and I was up to P7 by the time of the collision,” explained Stroll. “Having had the free choice of tyres, by starting outside of the top 10, we were in a really good place to execute a strong race and score plenty of points. Sadly, it wasn’t to be because my right-rear tyre got hit by Leclerc on the opening lap. I’m very surprised that he didn’t get a penalty because I left him plenty of room and he could have avoided making contact by not going so wide on the exit.

“I was on the edge of the track and couldn’t have done more to avoid him, so I’m disappointed that a careless move cost us a potentially good result. What’s done is done, and I’m ready to focus on coming back stronger in Germany next time out.”

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.