Podium “a massive confidence boost” – Perez
The Mexican driver scored his first top three finish since the 2012 Italian Grand Prix after starting from fourth on the grid.
It was a tough race, with plenty of close battles, but he managed to cross the line just ahead of the Red Bull RB10 of Daniel Ricciardo to score 15 points.
“This podium is an amazing achievement and one of the most special results in my whole career,” he said. “This is a massive confidence boost, especially after the very hard season I had last year, and it was the hardest-fought podium I ever had.
“It was an amazing feeling to cross the line because the last few laps were very difficult. I had to keep up the pace and I knew the Red Bulls were coming. In the end we managed to stay ahead and score this very special result in only my third race with the team.
“I also had a great fight with my teammate during the whole race. When he got ahead of me after the first stop, I tried to keep my head down to get back ahead. I managed to do that when we were fighting with the Williams and that was the crucial moment.”
Nico Hulkenberg made it two Force India drivers in the top five after finishing in fifth place. Commenting on his day at the office, he said: “It’s a great day for the team and I’m very happy for the guys. The battle with Checo was very clean and fair, and when you’re fighting for the podium you give everything but always stay within the lines. It was good fun.
“The end of the race was hard because I had to battle from the moment the safety car came in until the end of the race. I was behind Checo and I felt I had a little more pace, but I was in dirty air and that caused me to struggle towards the end. I held back Ricciardo for as long as I could and I managed to stay ahead of Vettel.”
Image courtesy of Sahara Force India F1 Team
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.