Perez: Pass on Norris was one of best of career
Sergio Perez believes his last lap pass on the McLaren of Lando Norris in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was one of the best of his Formula 1 career.
Perez started the season finale from 10th on the grid, but put together a number of overtakes to rise to eighth in the closing stages of the race.
Having pitted later in the race compared to his rivals around him, Perez managed to take advantage of his fresher tyres to close in on Sainz in the latter part of the race, and put a great move on the McLaren to take seventh position on the final tour of the Grand Prix.
Although Perez felt the first part of his race could have been better, he put that down to the fact that he had contact with the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly on the opening lap and because the DRS facility wasn’t working.
DRS was unavailable for the majority of the race for the whole grid due to a technical issue, and the problem prevented Perez from being able to pass slower cars, but once the Mexican pitted for new tyres, he returned with good pace and had a very strong final stint.
“The first part of my race was a bit messy. I got a big hit from Gasly into Turn 1, which meant that I lost a position to Magnussen.” said Perez.
“Because the DRS wasn’t enabled at the start, we lost a bit of time behind him, but I managed to overtake even without DRS.
“After a long first stint, we had to push hard to catch up to the midfield group.
“We had a very strong end to the race and my final lap overtake on Norris in Turn 11 was one of the best of my career.”
Perez’s seventh place finish in the race secured him 10th place in the driver’s standings and meant that Racing Point ended the season seventh in the constructor’s championship, and Racing Point Team Principal, Otmar Szafnauer, was pleased to end the season with a points finish.
“I’m pleased we could end the season with a strong performance and seventh place for Checo – as best of the rest – is a well-deserved result for the entire team.” added Szafnauer.
“We judged the strategy well tonight with a one-stop race combined with some excellent overtakes by Checo.
“The move on Lando [Norris] for seventh place, on the final lap, was the pick of the bunch.”
While Perez managed to secure another top ten result, his team-mate Lance Stroll was less fortunate, retiring from his second straight Grand Prix after a brake issue in the closing stages of teh race.